Holiday spirit filling the air

LIHUE — The overcast skies and occasional rain showers kept Sandy Battles away from the beach Tuesday.

“She’s visiting from Oregon, and I got her working,” said Stacie Chiba-Miguel, Kukui Grove assistant manager. “She’s in charge of ‘Santa’s Place’ that moved indoors, this year.”

Santa’s Place was one of the items being worked on to provide holiday shoppers an opportunity to experience the spirit of the holidays, or an opportunity to take a break from the shopping frenzy.

Chava Delos Reyes and Tiera Gonsalves were taking advantage of the final hours before Thanksgiving to kick back at the mall’s food court area, meeting with other family and experiencing the season with their three-week old baby Teivah Marie Gonsalves-Delos Reyes.

“This is her first holidays,” Tiera said. “She’s getting her first experience.”

Coming on the heels of Black Friday, the mall welcomes the holidays with The Kauai Christmas Parade, sponsored by the Garden Island Federal Credit Union and the Kauai Teachers Federal Credit Union Saturday starting at 4:30 p.m. from Kmart’s back parking lot and winding around the shopping center, returning to the starting point. A judges’ reviewing stand is set up next to Times Supermarket.

Motorists entering, or leaving the shopping center are asked to be aware of the special traffic conditions that will be in effect for the parade.

An awards ceremony with entertainment follows at center stage.

On Dec. 2, Kukui Grove is offering free shuttle service to the annual Rotary Club of Kauai Lights on Rice parade, the Festival of Lights opening, and the Kauai Museum annual Christmas craft fair from 4 to 4:45 p.m. and return service from Lihue from 8 to 8:45 p.m.

At 9 p.m., Kukui Grove unveils its presentation of the Holiday Light Show fronting Starbucks Coffee.

“The electricians are working on it right now,” Chiba-Miguel said. “This year, we added more lights, and made it bigger. The first show will be Dec. 2 following the lights parade in Lihue and shows are planned nightly through the holidays.”

Santa’s Place opens Dec. 3 for holiday pictures for a fee.

Laine Griffith, music and band director for the Kalaheo Elementary School, will have its Sunshine Express Train fired up for the parade, a tradition which started from the first Kauai Christmas Parade.

“The kids will be singing their hearts out,” he said. “We’ll also have ‘A Dickens of a Christmas’ singing show performing at the mall on Dec. 15.”

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