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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 21, 2002

 2002 Honolulu City Lights presents “Songs of Christmas”

            The music of Christmas will fill Honolulu Hale inside and out this holiday season as the City and County of Honolulu and the Friends of Honolulu City Lights proudly present the 18th annual Honolulu City Lights, opening Saturday, December 7, 2002.

            The theme this year is “Na Mele Kalikimaka” (The Songs of Christmas).

            “You won’t want to miss being here on opening night as we’re planning a great evening to put everyone in the holiday mood,” said Mayor Jeremy Harris.  “Our new parade route down King Street from Aala Park to City Hall should result in more businesses lighting up and Tom Moffatt is planning another star-studded two-hour concert after the parade.”

“We’re also going to debut a new look for the City Christmas tree that carries out our musical theme,” the Mayor added.  “A lot of people have worked very hard to make all of this possible.”

The key sponsors of the 2002 Honolulu City Lights include First Hawaiian Bank, Bank of Hawaii, Hawaiian Airlines, Hawaiian Electric Company, Cutter Chevrolet, Fuji Photo Film Hawaii, AON Risk Services, Dr. Lawrence K. W. Tseu, Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, Tom Moffatt Productions, Macy’s and Pizza Hut.

Although Opening Ceremonies begin at 6 p.m. on Saturday, December 7, the public is encouraged to arrive early to avoid the heavy traffic jams which begin as early as 4:30 p.m.  To accommodate early arrivals, radio stations Krater 96, Hawaiian 105 KINE, KCCN FM-100, 104.3 XME, Oldies 107.9, 1420 KKEA and Pizza Hut have planned great entertainment from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Sky Gate stage.  Food booths will also be in operation from 3 p.m.

The public is also encouraged to attend a special holiday service at 5 p.m. across the street at historic Kawaihao Church. 

At 6 p.m., the Tree Lighting Ceremony features the melodic sounds of
Christmas with a medley of holiday tunes sung by the Honolulu Boy Choir and a surprise guest artist.  At 6:30 p.m., all of downtown will illuminate simultaneously as Mayor Harris lights up the City’s giant 60-foot Norfolk Island Pine. 

This year, Restaurant Row businesses and Chinatown merchants will join the display, extending the corridor of lights toward Ala Moana Boulevard, and Bank of Hawaii will unveil a new holiday display outside its downtown offices.

At the moment the Mayor lights up the city Christmas tree, the dazzling Public Workers Electric Light Parade, sponsored by Hawaiian Electric Company, passes in front of Honolulu Hale.  This year, the parade will leave Aala Park at 6 p.m., proceeding down King Street to Honolulu Hale. 

Marching bands from Aiea, Baldwin, Castle, Farrington, Iolani, Kahuku, Kailua, Leilehua, Nanakuli and Waianae high schools will be joined by the Royal Hawaiian Band, Holy Family Academy and the Dole Middle School Band. 

 More than 35 vibrant and uniquely-decorated floats are anticipated to participate in the parade.   The Hawaiian Electric Company float is expected to be spectacular.  Santa, riding in a float generously sponsored by Cutter Chevrolet/Mitsubishi and created by Parade Man, Nelson Fujio and his volunteers, will arrive at Sky Gate at about 7:30 p.m. to hear children’s Christmas wishes until 9 p.m.  Food, beverages, disposable cameras, commemorative ornaments and event t-shirts will also be sold on the grounds.

 A spectacular two-hour holiday concert presented by Tom Moffatt Productions rounds out the evening’s entertainment, treating the audience to special performances by Na Hoku Award winners and the island’s best entertainers.  The all-star  entertainment lineup includes singing sensation Jennifer Perri, ‘Ale’a, Forté, Sistah Robi, Fiji, Jake Shimabukuro and Dita Holifield.    

 The Honolulu City Lights festivities tree lighting ceremony, parade and concert will be cablecast LIVE on Saturday, December 7, starting at 6 p.m. on Olelo Channel 56.   Highlights of opening night events will be rebroadcast on Christmas Day on Channel 52 at 9 a.m., Channel 55 at noon and Channel 56 at 6:30 p.m.

 The celebration continues nightly through Sunday, January 5, 2003.  The City’s Employees’ Christmas Tree Exhibit and Holiday Wreath Display inside Honolulu Hale may be viewed from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, including holiday and weekends. 

 Special holiday entertainment and choir performances will be presented nightly in the Honolulu Hale Courtyard.  Call the Mayor’s Culture and Arts Hotline at 527-5666 for details.  Santa will also visit the courtyard most evenings until Christmas Eve. 

 Admission is free, but everyone is encouraged to bring a wrapped toy to the Marine Corps Reserves’ “Toys for Tots” donation box in the courtyard of Honolulu Hale.  Make this a memorable Christmas for our island keiki by donating to the annual Toys for Tots Drive, which runs through December 17.

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Monday, November 25, 2002

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