Water Ways

By Ray Pendleton

Saturday, December 11, 1999

Seagoing parades
for the holidays

AS someone once said, the whole world loves a parade. And, it would seem that is true nowhere more than in Hawaii.

In fact, the only complaint I've ever heard about our numerous parades is that they tend to create traffic tie-ups wherever they are run.

Well, vehicular gridlock will not be a problem for two Christmas parades being conducted Dec. 18, as they will be on waterways instead of highways.

For everyone in the Waikiki/Downtown Honolulu area, the fifth annual Christmas Boat Parade, organized by the Hawaii Yacht Club, will make a round-trip passage between the Ala Wai Marina and Honolulu Harbor.

Dozens of brightly decorated vessels will begin circling in the turning basin, off Magic Island, at 5:30 p.m. As each boat passes the HYC, it will be judged for such award categories as best theme, most nautical, funniest, most lights, most creative and the most carolers.

At about 6 p.m. the parade will head out of the marina and make its way past Ala Moana Beach Park and Kakaako Beach Park to Honolulu Harbor. It will then circle in front of the Aloha Tower Marketplace for a second judging, before making its return voyage back to the Ala Wai around 7:30 p.m.

This parade will be the culmination of a week-long holiday event in the marina.

Each evening at 7 p.m., beginning Dec. 11, the Waikiki Yacht Club's 20-passenger shuttle boat will be available at the Ala Wai Harbor Master's office for those who are interested in touring the harbor and singing Christmas carols. All that is asked of each caroler is a donation of a "Toy for Kids," or $5 for Hawaii's Harbor House and Junior Sailors.

During the two-hour cruise, the carolers will also be given ballots to vote for their favorite decorated boats in a separate "in-slip" contest.

For more information about this event, call 949-7674 or 941-1970.

PEOPLE in Hawaii Kai on Dec. 18 also will have a nautical parade in which they may view or participate.

It will be the third annual Festival of Lights Boat Parade, celebrity-enhanced by former Legends in Concert superstars "Elvis" (Jonathan Von Brana) and "Madonna" (Eileen Fairbanks-Brana) as the Grand Marshals, and emcees Kathy Muneno and Erin Brown.

Sponsored by the Hawaii Kai Marina Community Association, this year's Festival of Lights Boat Parade and Marina Light Show will take place between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. Some 40 to 50 decorated boats, including one with Santa tossing candy to the crowds along the shoreline, will parade through the Hawaii Kai marina.

Here, too, the parading boats will be competing for "best decorated" honors, but a separate contest will be held for Hawaii Kai's many decorated waterfront homes.

The difficult task of judging will be given to a panel of celebrity judges, including University of Hawaii assistant football coach Rich Miano, Kim Gennaula of KGMB, Guy Hagi of KHNL, state Sen. Sam Slom and state Rep. David Stegmaier.

Good on-shore viewing will be available throughout the Hawaii Kai Marina, including the three shopping centers (Koko Marina, Hawaii Kai Towne Center and Hawaii Kai Shopping Center), where all will have free holiday music and festivities.

Boat rides to view the lights will be available at the Koko Marina Center from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Ride tickets will be $3 for adults and $1 for keiki, with proceeds going to Kaiser High's parent-teacher organization.

Ray Pendleton is a free-lance writer based in Honolulu.
His column runs Saturdays in the Star-Bulletin.
He can be reached by e-mail at

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