NAWILIWILI — Hundreds of people followed the sound of the pu announcing the arrival of Santa on a double-hulled canoe to Kalapaki Beach fronting the Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club Sunday.
Santa was greeted by the throng, which surged to the water’s edge even before the canoes touched sand, the jolly North Pole visitor overpowering the pu with his “Merry Christmas!” greetings.
A sand sculpture created by Jeff Haigh of California marked the spot where Santa was supposed to land, Haigh tending to the Mele Kalikimaka creation using a spray bottle to keep the sculpture intact as dozens of groups stopped for a picture of the unique Hawaiian greeting.
“This is so much fun,” said Beth Kauwe, one of Santa’s paddling crew members and coordinator of the line of visitors anxious to visit Santa and get a treat and a photo before his departure to tend to Christmas Eve deliveries. “To hear all those little kiddie sounds of delight, and even those who are not too sure about this guy — it’s just so much fun,” she said.