St. Raphael Church opens light displays

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Lights go on at 6 p.m. to the Joy of Christmas illuminated displays at the St. Raphael Church in Koloa.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    An illuminated gateway donated by the Melchor family welcomes guests to stroll along a path filled with Illuminated displays at the St. Raphael Church.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    The replica of the St. Raphael Church created to celebrate the church’s centennial is framed by an illuminated Toy Train and Norfolk at the Joy of Christmas lighted displays.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Father Arlan Intal, MS of the St. Raphael Church adjusts the toy soldier for display, Sunday during the Joy of Christmas displays.

KOLOA — Marina Pascua said there wasn’t a papaya tree the right size for the mynah bird created by her grandson for the “Joy of Christmas” illuminated displays at the St. Raphael Church.

“He made the mynah bird for the ‘12 Days of Christmas – Kauai Style,’” Pascua said. “But the papaya trees were all too big, or too small. We had to get one from the nursery.”

The 12 Days of Christmas is just one part of the illuminated displays spread over the expansive property of the St. Raphael Church, the oldest Catholic church on Kauai.

“Last year was the first Joy of Christmas,” said Shelly Gerardo, a volunteer with the Joy of Christmas who was bundled against the cold wind blowing in from the Koloa town. “The momentum kept growing and the displays brought a lot of joy to keiki and kupuna.”

The Joy of Christmas opened for its premiere on Saturday night and will be available for people to enjoy for free on each Saturday and Sunday through Christmas.

“This year, we have only a short period because Thanksgiving arrived a week later,” a volunteer said while adjusting a giant lollipop. “People have less time to enjoy.”

Food, baked goods, and drinks will be available for purchase.

The church’s gift shop is also stocked with items for gift giving and is open during the time displays are lit on the expansive grounds of the historic church.

Motorists arriving, or departing, from the Joy of Christmas are encouraged to be mindful of the people taking in the large number of displays.

“We don’t want any flat people for Christmas,” the volunteer said.

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