Honolulu City Lights
Honolulu City Lights. Photo courtesy of Honolulu City Lights.

Top Five Hawaiian Holiday Events

Hawaii for the holidays? Just because your clients may be swapping snowmen for sand castles and Christmas trees for palm trees all aglow doesn’t mean they can’t get into the holiday spirit. There are a host of holiday sites and events for travellers to participate in this season. Read on for a breakdown of five Hawaii holiday splashes taking place throughout the islands.

Honolulu City Lights: The streets are lit for travellers over the month of December as Honolulu Hale and its surrounding Civic Center grounds are transformed into a holiday spectacular that features themed Christmas trees and wreaths, gingerbread houses and the massive effigies of Shakta Santa and Tutu Mele — Hawaii-style takes on Santa and Mrs. Claus. The lights kicked off Dec. 5 and will remain on display all month long with food booths, keiki (children’s) rides, the lighting of the city holiday tree, an electric light parade and entertainment.

Waimea Lighted Christmas Parade: On Dec. 19 visitors to Kauai can get in the holiday sprit with the Waimea Lighted Christmas Parade. This is one of Kauai’s most popular holiday events and spectators should plan to arrive early since parking is limited. The parade begins at Waimea Canyon Park and goes down Kaumualii Highway to Ala Wai Road where it turns inland to Waimea Road, then back west to end at Hofgaard Park in the centre of town. After parade festivities include live, on-stage free music at Hofgaard Park, with free beverages, baked good and treats provided by local businesses. The 19th annual parade will begin at dusk (around 6 p.m.).

Kona Choral Society’s ‘Joy to the World’ holiday concert: What holiday celebrations would be complete without the opportunity to share in the joy of holiday music? On Dec. 19, the Kona Choral Society puts on its annual, free holiday concert for travellers and the local community. Starting at 4 p.m., with a repeat performance on Dec. 20, ohana (family) and friends are invited to the Old Airport Pavilion in Kona, on Hawaii Island, to enjoy the show. Featuring music from all over the world, as well as conga drums and a choral suite from Disney’s hit film ‘Frozen’, the concert will combine the singing talents of both the Kona Choral Society Adult Chorus as well as the KCS Junior Chorus. For information visit konachoralsociety.org/event-items/joy-to-the-world-an-annual-free-holiday-concert-for-the-community-2/.

Lighting of the Banyan Tree and Na Leo Lani Holiday Concert: For the 18th consecutive year Lahaina’s historic Banyan tree will be decorated with 6,500 coloured Christmas lights. The tree will remain lit until Jan. 3 so there is ample time for visitors to experience the awe of Maui’s famous Banyan Tree decked out in lights. On Dec. 19, visitors to Maui will also have the opportunity to experience Na Leo Lani O Maui’s seventh annual Holiday Concert, under the direction of Gale Wisehart and Kumu Uluwehi Guerrero. The performance will also feature traditional hula dancers from Halau Hula Kauluokala.

Hawaii Bowl: It may not be a traditional holiday event Canadians are used to but sports fans staying on Oahu on Christmas Eve can take part in one of college football’s most exciting bowl games. The 2015 Hawaii Bowl will feature The University of Cincinnati against San Diego State University, with kick off at 8 p.m. Tickets are on sale online via eTicketHawaii.com and VIP experiences are available through PrimeSport.