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Planning a visit to Kauai? We regularly add news and information about events, activities, and places to see on The Garden Isle.

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Sheila Heathcote has lived in Hawaii since 1986. She's a published author on the topic of Kauai and the owner of Hale O Nanakai Bed & Breakfast.

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Thursday
Dec022010

Kauai Does Christmas with Lighted Parades in Lihue and Waimea

LIHUE, KAUAI --The 2010 FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS at the Kauai Historic County Building Park on Rice Street will begin on Friday, December 3rd and run through New Years! There is a fantastic Opening Ceremony from 6-6:30pm on the front steps of the Historic County Building featuring the Kauai Chorale and Santa leading a spectacular "Lighting Countdown" followed by the wonderful Lights on Rice parade at 6:30. The parade can be viewed from the Historic County Building Park.

This year the interior of the Historic County Building is under renovation so we will not be putting out our display inside but, with hundreds of thousands of mini-lights on the gorgeous Monkeypod Trees and the giant Royal Palms, the FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS in the Historic County Building Park will be dazzling! AND it is FREE!

WAIMEA, KAUAI- Visit Kauai's most historic town has been hosting Christmas events since 1786. British Captain George Dixon anchored off at Waimea aboard the "Charlotte" during Christmas. He ordered a Christmas dinner and a bowl of punch prepared in honor of the occasion. A pig was brought from shore and roasted. The day's ration of grog was mixed with coconut milk and the crew toasted friends and family at home in England.

In Hawaii, we celebrate Christmas with "Mele Kalikimaka", carols sung in Hawaiian, light displays, and Norfolk Island pines. We think it is nippy outside at 75 degrees, but it is all relative.

A brilliant wonderland of color and the spirit of fellowship are the hallmark of the annual Waimea Lighted Christmas Parade starting at 6pm, Saturday, December 18th. Come and spend the day. Visit our parks, beaches and hiking trails; browse through Waimea's shops, eat dinner and stay for the entertainment following the parade at Hofgaard Park. The event is free and visitors are welcome to join in this colorful community event. Waimea Town, dripping with lights, a brilliant wonderland of color serves as a backdrop to its annual Lighted Christmas Parade. After parade festivities include live, on-stage free music at Hofgaard Park, with free beverages, baked goods and treats provided by our many WKBPA member businesses. 

The parade, held since 1994, begins at Waimea Canyon Park and goes down Kaumualii Hwy to Ala Wai Road, it then turns mauka (towards the mountains) to Waimea Road, then back west to end at Hofgaard Park in the center of town. For everyone's safety, no parking will be allowed along the Parade Route and we do expect traffic into Waimea to be extremely slow. Organizers suggest finding a spot for parade viewing by 4:00pm. Parking is easier on the Kekaha side of town, so arrive early, relax and enjoy the fun. Many businesses and organizations offer food booth items for purchase along the parade route. Please keep children on the sidewalks during the parade.

Sponsored by West Kauai Professional and Business Association along with area merchants and businesses. 

 Note: Our original parade of 1994 consisted of a small collection of lighted fishing boats from Kekaha and Waimea, bicycles, a red tractor and a few walking units, and was led by our County Mayor and a fire truck. In 2009 there were 35 floats, boats, bands, and walking units, and our Mayor and fire truck still led the parade, as it passed through our fully lit "main street" of Waimea Town.

 Even if you can't make the parade don't forget to drive through town at this time of year to enjoy the Christmas lights. Waimea Town is the most decorated town on the island and every night brings additional delights. Stroll along Main Street and Waimea Canyon Drive to enjoy the spirit of the season offered by residents and businesses from dark until 9pm

Waimea Town Christmas Lights From December 5 - 25, 2010