2013 Honolulu City Lights
Opening night shimmers with “Santa’s Underwater Adventure” for the 29th annual event
Honolulu – All are welcome to join Mayor Kirk Caldwell and thousands of island residents and visitors at the Honolulu Hale Civic Center on Saturday, Dec. 7, to usher in the holiday season with a spectacular celebration that includes lighting of the city’s 60-foot Norfolk Pine and the popular Electric Light Parade.
The eagerly anticipated event, now in its 29th year, kicks off the holiday season on Oahu and is presented free of charge by the City & County of Honolulu and the Friends of Honolulu City Lights as a gift to the people of our city.
“It’s an honor to be a part of this annual holiday tradition,” said Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “The highlight for me each year is seeing our families and keiki come together and enjoy each other and the beauty of our island home at Honolulu City Lights.”
Honolulu City Lights has become one of the most well-attended and anticipated holiday events for residents and visitors alike. During the month-long celebration, the entire civic block comes alive with whimsical larger-than-life characters created by city staff and volunteers, which make a wonderful backdrop for picture taking.
New this year will be the “dancing waters” display in the fountain. Reflecting the theme of “Santa’s Underworld Adventure,” visitors will be enchanted with sea creatures in the Honolulu Hale fountain, including 9-foot sea horses around the towering Norfolk Pine.
Opening ceremonies hosted by Mayor Caldwell, emcee “The Ambassador of Aloha” Danny Kaleikini and special guests, the Brothers Cazimero will begin at 6 p.m. This year, the long-established tradition of singing “Honolulu City Lights” will be carried on by The Brothers Cazimeros. At 6:30 p.m., Mayor Caldwell will ceremoniously illuminate the city’s tree while simultaneously lighting the entire downtown corridor.
As Mayor Caldwell lights-up our city for the holidays, the Public Workers Electric Light Parade will complete its annual march and join him on the grounds of Honolulu Hale.
The dazzling procession lead by more than 50 seasonally decorated city vehicles, including fire trucks, TheBus busses, refuse collection trucks, emergency medical services Cushmans, the HPD mobile command vehicle, and parade sponsor units and mascots will be “fully dressed” for the occasion, and joined by 18 high school marching bands.
Santa Claus will arrive with the procession and make his way into the Mission Memorial Auditorium, where he will hear children’s wishes and pose for pictures from 7:30-9 p.m.
After the parade, all are welcome to the Honolulu Hale courtyard to view uniquely decorated Christmas trees created by city employees, each one expressing the holidays through the eyes of a keiki. This year’s theme is “Anime.”
A must-see attraction is the Christmas wreath exhibit featuring handcrafted creations by local residents displayed in the Lane Gallery at the Waikiki end of Honolulu Hale. The wreath contest theme for 2013 is “Blue Hawaiian Holidays.”
Large crowds are again anticipated for the holiday concert at Sky Gate, set to begin at 7:30 p.m. The featured talent includes Henry Kapono, Robi Kahakalau, NIX Performing Arts Christmas Variety Show, and Makua Rothman.
Food and beverages, commemorative ornaments, event t-shirts and other novelty items will be sold on the grounds throughout the evening. Several food booths will be accessible near Sky Gate on the Honolulu Hale grounds from 4 p.m., selling refreshments, plate dinners, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, malasadas, kettle corn, Hawaiian and Thai food, and other island favorites. People are encouraged to come early, find a good parking space, and enjoy a relaxing dinner before the festivities begin.
The event also offers free rides for the keiki beginning at 4 p.m. The popular “little train” and six other keiki rides have been added this year for our youngsters. They will operate on the grounds of Honolulu Hale Dec. 10-29, between the hours of 6 and 10 p.m.
There will be two additional free photo nights with Santa following the opening night festivities. Santa will be at the Gingerbread House located in the Honolulu Hale courtyard on Dec. 14 and 21, from 7-9 p.m. The Clowns of Aloha will also be there to give away balloons.
The public is encouraged to arrive early to avoid heavy traffic around Honolulu Hale, which may start as early at 4:30 p.m. due to the parade staging. Parking is available in the civic center parking garage, the state’s Kalanimoku Building and at various parking lots in the surrounding area. Both King and Punchbowl Streets will be closed from 5 p.m. Motorists are advised to allow time for delays when traveling in the area and to take alternate routes whenever possible.
The Honolulu City Lights festivities, including the tree lighting ceremony and parade will be cablecast LIVE on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 6-7:30 p.m. on Olelo Channel 55, followed by the 7:30-10 p.m. live cablecast on Channel 54. Rebroadcasts will be on the following dates and times:
Honolulu City Lights Tree Lighting 2013
12/23/2013 8:00 AM Channel 49 (digital cable only)
12/24/2013 6:00 PM Channel 55
12/25/2013 1:00 PM Channel 49 (digital cable only)
12/27/2013 4:30 PM Channel 55
Honolulu City Lights Parade 2013
12/23/2013 8:30 AM Channel 49 (digital cable only)
12/24/2013 6:30 PM Channel 55
12/25/2013 1:30 PM Channel 49 (digital cable only)
12/27/2013 3:30 PM Channel 55
A one-hour parade special will also be aired on KITV on Monday, Dec. 23, from 7-8 p.m.
The celebration continues with the Christmas tree exhibits and holiday wreath displays inside Honolulu Hale through January 1, 2014, from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., daily, including weekends and holidays.
Day and night photo opportunities of the event setup are available today and tomorrow.
Event sponsors who make this holiday celebration possible include First Hawaiian Bank, Macy’s, Hawaiian Electric Company, Kraft Foods Group in Hawaii, Cutter Ford, John H. Connors Insurance, Aloha Pacific Federal Credit Union, Hawaiian Airlines, Papa John’s Pizza, Sam’s Club, Leonard’s Bakery, Summit Media, and Tom Moffatt Productions.