Annual city lightNear the end of the city's Electric Light Parade in downtown Honolulu last night the Carter family cleaned up on American flags.
parade takes on
a patriotic flair
American flags and red,
white and blue floats join
bands playing holiday tunes
By Diana Leone
Cousins Abcde, 7, of Waianae, and Deshia, 5, of Mililani reached out for mini-flags being handed out by emergency medical technicians who walked behind their red-white-and-blue-decorated vehicles.
That set Deshia's sisters, Diamond, 7, and Kiara, 2, clamoring for their own.
The whole crew happily waved flags at Santa, who was surrounded by red, white and blue stars on his float at the end of the hour-long procession.
The patriotic theme of this year's parade was evident in the color schemes chosen by many of the marching bands and lighted vehicles.
The whole side of a trash truck was covered with lights forming the American flag and the message "God Bless America."
Band members sported flags from some of their brass instruments.
But the music was decidedly Christmas.
"We Wish You a Merry Christmas" from Castle High School's band, with members sporting reindeer antlers. A calypso-beat "Angels We Have Heard On High" from Waipahu High band members in their Santa hats. "Jingle Bells" from Dole Middle School.
Up and down Beretania Street, where the parade began in front of the state Capitol, young children were wide-eyed in their strollers and from the safety of parents' arms as they gazed enraptured at the colored lights floating by. But even the junior high boys with their skateboards couldn't hide their enthusiasm for the sight of Christmas lights on the roll.
"This is the first time as a family we have done this," said Barbara Gomes, there with husband, Bryan, and children.
"She's usually really shy," she said of 3-year-old Katie, "but tonight she's waving at everybody."
"Look at this boy right here, he has about five drums he has to carry on his belly," Gomes pointed out to her son, Thomas, 5.
Anthony Nguyen was dutifully videotaping his sister Suzanne's performance in Dole Middle School's band on Beretania Street, then was going to run down Richards Street to tape her again when she came back on the King Street leg of the parade.
If you missed it yesterday, the Electric Light Parade will repeat today in Waikiki.
Electric Light Parade, take 2
It will be preceded at 4 p.m. by the annual Toys for Tots Toy Run, in which 3,000 motorcycles and classic cars parade from the Hawaii Convention Center down Kalakaua Avenue. The Electric Light Parade will begin at 5:45 p.m. at Fort DeRussy, down Kalakaua to Kapiolani Park.
Kalakaua will be closed from 4 to 7 p.m., and access into Waikiki will be through Kalia Road, which will be set up to contra-flow.