Kauai’s 16th annual Festival of Lights, which features a charming collection of island-style folk art and thousands of glowing yuletide lights, will get under way on Fri., Dec. 7 with caroling, illumination of Lihue’s Historic Park and, of course, visits with Santa Claus. Mrs. Claus will be on hand, too.
Festivities will begin at 6 p.m. with caroling by the Kauai Chorale in the park, which fronts the Historic County Building, 4396 Rice St. A parade dubbed Lights on Rice, which showcases lighted floats, will get under way at 6:30 p.m.
Following the arrival of Santa and the lighting of the park grounds, festivalgoers will be invited to check out a glittering collection of Christmas folk art created by the late Auntie Josie Chansky, a Kauai native who opened her home for nearly four decades to share her Christmas folk art decorations.
Kauai artist Elizabeth Freeman acquired Chansky’s Christmas House collection in 1996 and as has since worked in tandem with Kauai County officials and community volunteers to present the annual folk art display, housed in the Historic County Building.
Among Chansky’s most famous decorations: a Christmas tree made of 7,500 green toothpicks, wreaths created from egg cartons, graceful table decorations fashioned from seed pods, and a chandelier crafted from wire coat hangers. Also on display is a must-see decoration titled "Surfin' Santa's Sleigh," which is pulled by a team of wave-riding Kauai roosters.
Christmas trees decked out by various community include: a “SPAM Can Tree” (pictured, top) a “Hula Bear Tree,” a “Kilauea Lighthouse Tree,” a “Peacock Tree” and “Aloha Recycled Treasures” made from plastic water bottles. This year, Freeman is adding to the lineup an “If Can, Can” tree. It features ornaments created from recycled aluminum cans (pictured, left).
Following Friday’s festivities, the display will be open 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays through Dec. 24. For additional information about Kauai's Festival of Lights, click here.
Photos: Kauai Festival of Lights