The holidays will be a little less jolly this year, as the City & County of Honolulu has decided to scale back its annual Honolulu City Lights festivities to stop large social gatherings in an effort to minimize the chance of a coronavirus outbreak.
The biggest—and most necessary—omission will be the opening night festivities. This includes the tree lighting ceremony, holiday concert and the ever-jubilant public workers' electric light parade. Fortunately, Shaka Santa, Tūtū Mele and friends will still be making their appearance in front of the Honolulu Hale building, and residents and visitors are still encouraged to pose with their favorite displays and snap that perfect Christmas card photo.
Other closures include the department tree display in the Honolulu Hale's courtyard and the public wreath display in Lane Gallery as well as all vendor booths and rides; nonprofit exhibits; and in-person photos with Santa.
“The city employees are very saddened to not be able to share our holiday joy with the public as we have done annually for more than three decades, but the focus right now must be on the health and safety of our island,” said Sheri Kajiwara, director of the city’s Department of Customer Services. “We realize how important it will be to lift spirits and instill hope, especially with what we are all going through, so we are seeking creative ways to share some elements of the program virtually this year to continue to connect our island families—just in a different way.”
For more information, visit the Honolulu City Light’s website.