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Kauai’s 15th annual Festival of Lights showcases island-style Christmas folk art



Hawaii_Kauai_ChristmasIf you happen to be on Kauai on the night before Christmas (or the night before the night before) you’ll find plenty of holiday cheer at the 15th annual Festival of Lights, which features a charming collection of island-style folk art and a yuletide light display.     

The annual fest, held at the Historic County Building, 4396 Rice St., in
 Lihue, which got under way on weekend evenings earlier this month, will wrap up this weekend with special events slated for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Fri., Dec. 23 and on Christmas Eve, Sat., Dec. 24. 

Outside, the building’s exterior and Historic County Building Park trees will be aglow with Christmas lights. Inside the building, you’ll find a holiday display showcasing a collection of Christmas folk art created by Auntie Josie Chansky. Starting in the 1950s, the Kauai native opened her home for nearly four decades to share her Christmas folk art decorations. Hawaii_Kauai_Christmas

Elizabeth Freeman, a Kauai artist who organizes the Festival of Lights, acquired Chansky’s Christmas House collection in 1996 and as has since worked in tandem with county officials and community volunteers to present the annual fest.

Among the trash-to-treasure folk art favorites: a Christmas tree made of 7,500 green toothpicks (pictured, left), festive wreaths made with egg cartons, table decorations fashioned from seed pods, and a chandelier crafted from wire coat hangers.

Also on display is a glittering decoration titled "Surfin' Santa's Sleigh," which is pulled by a team of wave-riding Kauai roosters.

Other pieces of holiday folk art created by the local community include: a “SPAM Can Tree,” a “Hula Bear Tree,” a “Kilauea Lighthouse Tree,” a “Peacock Tree” and “Aloha Recycled Treasures” made from plastic water bottles.

For additional information about Kauai's Festival of Lights, click here.


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Photos: (top) Kauai's Historic County Building, Ron Kosen; (bottom) Auntie Josie Chansky's "Toothpick Tree," Jim Shea 

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