Honolulu Hale Lights the Night


Amber Malone

Shaka Santa and wife Tutu Mele 21 foot statues outside of Honolulu Hale

It’s Christmas season in Hawaii. The night is bright with lights and a 50 foot Norfolk Pine Christmas Tree is gracing the lawn in front of Honolulu Hale. Seasons greetings from Shaka Santa and his wife Tutu Mele, 21 foot tall statues, greet crowds as they cross the street. The Honolulu City Lights know how to welcome the masses.

“ I feel like I’m being immersed into a culture, it’s different from Alabama because when we do Christmas it’s like downtown is lit up but it’s nothing like this,” said Joey Meritt, 25, visiting Oahu from Alabama. 

Walking into the Honolulu Hale, visitors are greeted with an indoor tree display that is comprised of various departments of the city and county who have decorated trees with assorted themes ranging from “The Incredibles” to a Disney princess tree.  

“My favorite attraction are all the trees in City Hall,” said Shantel Lagard, 18, from Waco, Texas. “All of them are so different themed and they are so cute. My favorite was the DC one.”

With sidewalks full of families and kids pulling their parents into every direction the next attraction were the many food vendors. From Thai food and stuffed chicken wings from Olay’s Thai Food Express, to pineapple-smoothie filled pineapples from 1979 Hawaii and fresh malasadas from Leonard’s Bakery, the food vendors can easily became a foodies single reason for visiting the Honolulu City Lights. With different vendors coming in for the second half of the month, make sure to catch your favorites early and be open to the vendors still to come.

“The food is delicious, kinda pricey but the stuffed chicken wings are my favorite, they are so good,” said Tatiana-marie Whitlow, 18, originally from, Honolulu, Hi.

Raphael Sefriou, 20, from Montreal, Canada, vending for 1979 Hawaii says, “the best part about being a vendor out here [Honolulu City lights] are the people you get to meet and all the families, it’s pretty cool. We have the Christmas music going and the Christmas vibe.

Once visitors work themselves out of a food coma, there is more beautiful lights and attractions to see.

The 2018 City and County of Honolulu 33rd Annual Holiday Wreath Contest makes for a beautiful corridor filled with handmade wreaths and a range of creative expression.The wreaths located in Lane Gallery is a showcase of public talent during the holiday season. The theme for this year’s contest was “Kalikimaka Kritters.”

The Honolulu City Lights bring people in from far a wide but locals come out for the month long celebration too. Many locals have grown up coming and there is something that keeps making them come back.

“I’v been out here ever since I was a baby,” said Mikaila Cravalho, 21, from Mililani, Hawaii. “There hasn’t been a lot of changes, everything is pretty much the same. I just like seeing the huge Santa.” 

When asked what keeps her coming back, Yoko Harada, 45, from Japan said, “We are not Christian so we don’t usually celebrate Christmas but I also enjoy the Christmas spirit that is here.”

Honolulu City Lights is a month-long celebration from opening night on December 1 until January 1. Daily hours are from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m.and they are located at Honolulu Hale (City Hall) at 530 S. King St. in Downtown Honolulu.

For more information about vendors, events, and time go to there website at https://www.honolulucitylights.org/