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Friday, December 6, 2013
2013 Honolulu City Lights Opening Night
By News Release @ 4:48 AM :: 6374 Views :: Honolulu County, First Amendment

2013 Honolulu City Lights

Opening night shimmers with “Santa’s Underwater Adventure” for the 29th annual event

News Release from City and County of Honolulu December 5, 2013

Honolulu–All are welcome to join Mayor Kirk Caldwell and thousands of island residents and visitors at the Honolulu Hale Civic Center on Saturday, Dec. 7, to usher in the holiday season with a spectacular celebration that includes lighting of the city’s 60-foot Norfolk Pine and the popular Electric Light Parade.

The eagerly anticipated event, now in its 29th year, kicks off the holiday season on Oahu and is presented free of charge by the City & County of Honolulu and the Friends of Honolulu City Lights as a gift to the people of our city.

“It’s an honor to be a part of this annual holiday tradition,” said Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “The highlight for me each year is seeing our families and keiki come together and enjoy each other and the beauty of our island home at Honolulu City Lights.”

Honolulu City Lights has become one of the most well-attended and anticipated holiday events for residents and visitors alike.  During the month-long celebration, the entire civic block comes alive with whimsical larger-than-life characters created by city staff and volunteers, which make a wonderful backdrop for picture taking.

New this year will be the “dancing waters” display in the fountain.  Reflecting the theme of “Santa’s Underworld Adventure,” visitors will be enchanted with sea creatures in the Honolulu Hale fountain, including 9-foot sea horses around the towering Norfolk Pine.

Opening ceremonies hosted by Mayor Caldwell, emcee “The Ambassador of Aloha” Danny Kaleikini and special guests, the Brothers Cazimero will begin at 6 p.m.  This year, the long-established tradition of singing “Honolulu City Lights” will be carried on by The Brothers Cazimeros.  At 6:30 p.m., Mayor Caldwell will ceremoniously illuminate the city’s tree while simultaneously lighting the entire downtown corridor.

As Mayor Caldwell lights-up our city for the holidays, the Public Workers Electric Light Parade will complete its annual march and join him on the grounds of Honolulu Hale.

The dazzling procession lead by more than 50 seasonally decorated city vehicles, including fire trucks, TheBus busses, refuse collection trucks, emergency medical services Cushmans, the HPD mobile command vehicle, and parade sponsor units and mascots will be “fully dressed” for the occasion, and joined by 18 high school marching bands.

Santa Claus will arrive with the procession and make his way into the Mission Memorial Auditorium, where he will hear children’s wishes and pose for pictures from 7:30-9 p.m.

After the parade, all are welcome to the Honolulu Hale courtyard to view uniquely decorated Christmas trees created by city employees, each one expressing the holidays through the eyes of a keiki.  This year’s theme is “Anime.”

A must-see attraction is the Christmas wreath exhibit featuring handcrafted creations by local residents displayed in the LaneGallery at the Waikiki end of Honolulu Hale.  The wreath contest theme for 2013 is “Blue Hawaiian Holidays.”

Large crowds are again anticipated for the holiday concert at Sky Gate, set to begin at 7:30 p.m.  The featured talent includes Henry Kapono, Robi Kahakalau, NIX Performing Arts Christmas Variety Show, and Makua Rothman.

Food and beverages, commemorative ornaments, event t-shirts and other novelty items will be sold on the grounds throughout the evening.  Several food booths will be accessible near Sky Gate on the Honolulu Hale grounds from 4 p.m., selling refreshments, plate dinners, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, malasadas, kettle corn, Hawaiian and Thai food, and other island favorites.  People are encouraged to come early, find a good parking space, and enjoy a relaxing dinner before the festivities begin.

The event also offers free rides for the keiki beginning at 4 p.m.  The popular “little train” and six other keiki rides have been added this year for our youngsters.  They will operate on the grounds of Honolulu Hale Dec. 10-29, between the hours of 6 and 10 p.m.

There will be two additional free photo nights with Santa following the opening night festivities.  Santa will be at the Gingerbread House located in the Honolulu Hale courtyard on Dec. 14 and 21, from 7-9 p.m.  The Clowns of Aloha will also be there to give away balloons.

The public is encouraged to arrive early to avoid heavy traffic around Honolulu Hale, which may start as early at 4:30 p.m. due to the parade staging.  Parking is available in the civic center parking garage, the state’s KalanimokuBuilding and at various parking lots in the surrounding area.  Both King and Punchbowl Streets will be closed from 5 p.m.  Motorists are advised to allow time for delays when traveling in the area and to take alternate routes whenever possible.

The Honolulu City Lights festivities, including the tree lighting ceremony and parade will be cablecast LIVE on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 6-7:30 p.m. on Olelo Channel 55, followed by the 7:30-10 p.m. live cablecast on Channel 54.  Rebroadcasts will be on the following dates and times:

Honolulu City Lights Tree Lighting 2013


8:00 AM

Channel 49

(digital cable only)


6:00 PM

Channel 55



1:00 PM

Channel 49

(digital cable only)


4:30 PM

Channel 55



Honolulu City Lights Parade 2013


8:30 AM

Channel 49

(digital cable only)


6:30 PM

Channel 55



1:30 PM

Channel 49

(digital cable only)


3:30 PM

Channel 55

A one-hour parade special will also be aired on KITV on Monday, Dec. 23, from 7-8 p.m.

The celebration continues with the Christmas tree exhibits and holiday wreath displays inside Honolulu Hale through January 1, 2014, from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., daily, including weekends and holidays.

Day and night photo opportunities of the event setup are available today and tomorrow.

Event sponsors who make this holiday celebration possible include First Hawaiian Bank, Macy’s, Hawaiian Electric Company, Kraft Foods Group in Hawaii, Cutter Ford, John H. Connors Insurance, Aloha Pacific Federal Credit Union, Hawaiian Airlines, Papa John’s Pizza, Sam’s Club, Leonard’s Bakery, Summit Media, and Tom Moffatt Productions.



Traffic Advisory: Honolulu City Lights parade on Dec. 7


            The annual Honolulu City Lights Public Workers Electric Light Parade will be held at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, in Chinatown and Downtown. The parade features work vehicles adorned with lights and special decorations.  Among the 60 or more units expected are fire and police vehicles, TheBus, refuse truck, fire engine, city service vehicles, marching bands, and entries from Honolulu City Lights sponsors.


            The parade, held on King Street, begins at approximately 6 p.m., steps off at River Street, proceeds past Honolulu Hale, and ends at Kawaiahao Street. Decorated vehicles will park at the end of the parade for public viewing until 8:15 p.m.


Parking in the affected area


            Motorists bound for events in Chinatown and Downtown Honolulu on Dec. 7 are advised to arrive well before 5 p.m. and to plan for traffic delays. Parking will be accessible at:

Mark’s Garage

Macy’s Parking Lot

Chinatown Gateway

Smith-Beretania parking garage

Hale Pauahi parking garage


Traffic detours in Chinatown and Downtown


            Motorists are advised that street closures and detours for the parade and opening night ceremony will affect traffic in the Chinatown and Downtown areas on the evening of Saturday, Dec. 7.


            Traffic flow will be detoured or modified on the following streets.

Makai-bound traffic on Maunakea Street from Beretania Street will be detoured east-bound to Pauahi Street.

Bethel Street will be converted into a two-way street from Hotel Street to the Macy’s parking lot driveway.

Traffic on Nuuanu Avenue and Alakea Street will be allowed to cross King Street at selected break points in the parade.

Bishop Street will be converted into a two-way street between Beretania Street and the Executive Centre parking lot driveway.


Street closures on Dec. 7, 2013


Traffic lanes and streets will be closed on Saturday, Dec. 7 as follows.

11:00 a.m.:  Left lane on King Street from Punchbowl Street to Kawaiahao Street:  Lane closure will be in effect until equipment set up is completed.

1:30 p.m.:  Crowd-control barricades will be placed on both sides of King Street from Richards to Punchbowl streets.  Trucks will be unloading barricades in lanes nearest the sidewalk.

3:00 p.m.:  Crowd-control barricades will be placed on both sides of King Street from Punchbowl to South streets.  Trucks will be unloading barricades in lanes nearest the sidewalk.

3:30 p.m.:  Curb lanes at Aala Park on North King Street between Beretania and River streets, and Iwilei Road from Kuwili Street to King Street, will be closed for parade vehicle staging.

3:30 p.m.:  Curb lanes on Iwilei Road from Kuwili Street to King Street, will be closed for parade vehicle staging.

4:30 p.m.:  Punchbowl Street closed between Beretania and King Streets.  Makai-bound traffic will be detoured to Beretania Street.

4:30 p.m.:  Three mauka lanes on South King Street closed from Alapai Street to Ward Avenue.  Two lanes of both sides of South Street closed from Kapiolani Boulevard to Queen Street.

5:00 p.m.:  North King Street closed from Liliha/Dillingham intersection to River Street.  Eastbound traffic on King Street will be detoured to Beretania.

5:00 p.m.:  King Street between Punchbowl and Alapai/South Streets will be closed.  Eastbound traffic on King Street will be detoured makai to Punchbowl Street.  TheBus Stop on King/Punchbowl Street will be relocated to Punchbowl Street.

5:30 p.m.:  King Street will close progressively along the parade route and reopen progressively after the parade, except for the section of King Street from Punchbowl to the Alapai/South/King Street intersection, which will remain closed until 10 p.m. for street sweeping and crowd control barricade removal.

·       River Street will be closed at Pauahi Street.

·       Bishop will be two-way between Beretania and the Executive Center parking lot driveway.

·       Makai-bound traffic on Maunakea will be detoured to Pauahi Street.

·       Nuuanu Avenue will be open with intermittent traffic flow.

·       Bethel Street will become two-way from Hotel Street and Macy’s parking lot entrance.

·       Richards Street mauka of King Street will be closed at Beretania Street.

·       Kekaulike, Maunakea, and Smith Streets makai of King Street will be closed at Nimitz Highway.

·       Bethel Street will be closed at Merchant Street.

·       Mililani Street will be closed at Queen Street.

·       Alakea Street will be open with intermittent traffic flow allowed.


Street parking prohibitions on Dec. 7, 2013


            No parking from 1:00 p.m. to 12 midnight on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013.  Illegally parked cars will be cited and towed.

Punchbowl Street both sides from Beretania Street to King Street

Punchbowl Street ewa side from King Street to Queen Street

King Street both sides from River Street to Ward Avenue

Kawaiahao Street four parking meters on each side beginning at King Street


            No Parking from 1:00 pm to 8:00 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7, 2012.  Illegally parked cars will be cited and towed.

Beretania Street both sides from River Street to North King Street

River Street both sides from North Beretania Street to Hotel Street

Bethel Street both sides from King Street to Pauahi Street.


TheBus detours


            TheBus routes affected by the parade are detoured.  Please go to or call 848-5555 for route information.




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