Sunday, May 15, 2022 |
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LIHU‘E — The lights will go on with a festive ceremony starting at 6 p.m., Friday, at the Historic County Building.
Headlined by “Santa’s Gone Kauaian,” a theme generated by the youth volunteers from the high schools, the Festival of Lights will mark its 15th annual celebration with the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus accompanied by Christmas carols being sung by the Kaua‘i Chorale, a county news release states.
The Festival of Lights will continue each weekend through Dec. 24, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The lights on the lawn of the Historic County Building will be on throughout December for people to enjoy.
Starting Nov. 17, Keith Ruiz of Oceanic Time Warner Cable was joined by volunteers from the Hawaiian Telcom, Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative and fire crews from two fire battalions headed by Chief Russell Yee and Chief Albert Kaui.
Service Rentals and Toolmaster provided Lift Genies to make installation of the lights on the monkeypod trees, freshly pruned to remove potentially dangerous dead wood by the county Public Works crews easier, a news release states.
“This is an invaluable contribution as the monkeypod trees in the park are gigantic and it would be impossible to get the lights in the trees if it weren’t for the support of Service Rentals and Toolmaster,” Elizabeth Freeman, head of the Festival of Lights, said in the release.
Last year, while the Historic County Building was undergoing its renovation and restoration work, an Aloha Recycled Treasures Christmas tree created from recycled plastic water bottles was displayed in Washington, D.C., accompanied by students from the Kaua‘i High School Academy of Hospitality and Tourism.
With the restoration work complete, the tree headlines a bevy of specially themed trees in the lobby of the Historic County Building. These include a SPAM can tree, a Hula Bear Tree, the Kilauea Lighthouse tree, and more.
Freeman established the Festival of Lights in 1977 in collaboration with community groups to perpetuate a tradition started by Josie and Joe Chansky at their Kapahi home, showcasing the Chansky’s collection of Christmas Folk Art, many of the pieces created through resourceful recycling. Volunteers, including members of the Kaua‘i Community Correctional Center Lifetime Stance and artist Pam Hoffman have been working the past couple weeks to light-check the displays, one of which is Aunty Josie’s Christmas tree made with 7,500 green toothpicks.
The Festival of Lights opening is part of three events taking place in the historic Lihu‘e District.
The Kaua‘i Museum hosts its day-long Christmas craft fair featuring a wide assortment of food, crafters, and entertainment from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Following the Festival of Lights ceremony at 6 p.m., thousands of people will revel in the annual Lights on Rice holiday parade sponsored by The Rotary Club of Kaua‘i which starts at 6:30 p.m.
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