2 Christmas parades on tap
If you were like my wife and me last Saturday, you probably missed the Honolulu City Lights Christmas program because you were either glued to the TV watching our UH Warriors hammer out their huge win against the Washington Huskies or you were at the game in person.
But now, as great as that win was, do you still think you need a little pageantry to bolster your holiday spirit? If so, why not take the family to see one of two spectacular Christmas boat parades next Saturday?
The Hawaii Kai Marina Community Association will be sponsoring its 11th annual Festival of Lights Boat Parade.
The party begins at 4:30 p.m. at the Hawaii Kai Towne Center with entertainment from Ka Hale I o Kahala Halau Hula, which will be followed by the well-known musical performer Sean Naauao. Radio personality Mike Buck will serve as the master of ceremonies.
As in past years, the public will have front-row seats as more than 30 brightly decorated boats will parade by the judges' stand just after dusk in a competition for the best-decorated vessels. For more information, call 941-0440.
For folks finding themselves anywhere between Waikiki and Honolulu Harbor this Saturday evening, the Hawaii Yacht Club's 13th annual Christmas Boat Parade will be coming their way.
In this unique parade of lights, sail and powerboats of all sizes will assemble at about 5:30 p.m. in front of the HYC in the Ala Wai Harbor, where they will be judged on how well they reflect this year's theme, "Sleigh Bells Are Ringing."
There will actually be two contests -- one for best-decorated boats with the most talented bell-ringing crews, and one for the best-lighted vessels and separate prizes for sail and powerboats.
At the end of that judging, the boats will parade out of the Ala Wai and make their way offshore of Ala Moana Park and Kakaako Waterfront Park, to arrive at Honolulu Harbor's Aloha Tower Marketplace at about 6:30 p.m. for a second judging.
In concert with the boat parade and along with the judging, the Marketplace has invited the public that evening to a free holiday event from 5 to 9 p.m. It will feature free photos with Santa in the center atrium, along with free live entertainment and door prizes at the Pier Nine Stage.
Because the boat parade is also a fundraiser for the Harbor House -- an agency of the Hawaii Food Bank -- the Marketplace is encouraging those attending to bring a non-perishable food donation to help provide needy families with a holiday dinner.
Once the parading boats have been judged, they will navigate back to the HYC for a final viewing at 7:30 p.m. This will provide those on shore -- from either the beachfront or from hotels and high-rises-- with a second chance to see this brilliant display of Christmas lights on the water.
So if your Christmas isn't Christmas without a parade, now you have two to from which to choose.