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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                              November 28, 2006





            Honolulu Hale elves are racing down the final stretch, busily applying finishing touches to several new displays, in time for the 2006 City Lights opening night festivities this Saturday, December 2.   


            The popular holiday presentation, which now attracts more than 50,000 people to the civic center grounds, kicks off at 4 p.m. with food booths and keiki rides.


            Although the main event begins at 6 p.m., people are advised to arrive ahead of time to avoid heavy traffic jams that may start as early as 4:30 p.m.  Parking will be available in the Civic Center parking structure.   The historic Kawaiahao Church across the street welcomes early arrivals to a special 5 p.m. holiday service.


Honolulu City Lights ceremonies begin promptly at 6 p.m., emceed by Department of Customer Services Director Jeff Coelho.   The opening ceremony features a special Christmas medley by entertainer Sean Naau‛ao, who will also perform in concert later that evening.  Mayor Hannemann and First Lady Gail Mukaihata-Hannemann will call up several special guests to join them in illuminating the City's 50-foot Norfolk Island pine at 6:30 p.m., when the entire downtown corridor simultaneously lights up.


At that precise moment, the Public Workers Electric Light Parade will pass in front of Honolulu Hale.  The parade will leave River Street at 6 p.m., proceeding down King Street and arriving at Honolulu Hale at 6:30 p.m.


Sponsored by the Hawaiian Electric Company and Macy's West, the 59-unit parade includes high school marching bands from Aiea, Baldwin, Castle, Damien, Farrington, Holy Family Academy, Kahuku, Kapolei, Leilehua, McKinley, Mililani, Nanakuli and Waipahu, the Royal Hawaiian Band and the Celtic Pipe and Drum.  More than 35 festive and eye-catching floats join the marching bands, including entries by corporate sponsors Hawaiian Electric Company, Macy's West, Kraft Foods Hawaii, Hawaiian Airlines and Cox Radio.  

           A new sponsor, Kraft Foods Hawaii, will bring Kraft characters Cheese-a-Saurus Rex and Oreo-Man to delight keiki.   The mascots will be riding on an antique 1936 Ford fire truck, owned by local firefighter Kendall Ching, who will make the vehicle available for tours around the "corridor of lights" in town during the month of December.


            Santa will ride in a float created by the Parade Man Nelson Fujio and will arrive at the Mission Memorial Auditorium adjacent to Honolulu Hale at about 7:45 p.m. to hear children's Christmas wishes.  FUJIFILM Hawaii will be there to take free photos of children visiting with Santa. 


            Sponsors FUJIFILM Hawaii and Kraft Foods Hawaii have added two additional Santa photo nights this year on December 8 and 20.  The December 20 date will include storytelling by Sweetie Pacarro, spokeswoman for Kraft Foods Hawaii.   Kraft and FUJIFILM Hawaii will provide free photos with Santa on both nights.  Keiki and their families will also enjoy a complimentary picture frame and special coupons from these generous sponsors.


            The 2006 City Lights will see several new attractions, thanks to the generosity of new and continuing sponsors.  This year's theme of "Ku'u Home" is reflected in the fanciful design of the 50-foot City Christmas tree, donated by Mr. and Mrs. George Kallingal of Mililani.   The tree highlights the local-style flower-and-straw lei made by school children and boasts three additional Hawaiian instruments -- the 'uli'uli, pahu drum and ipu heke -- joining the ukulele.  The new musical instruments were made by City Parks employee Alex Ching.   Sponsors of the 2006 tree are First Hawaiian Bank, John H. Connors Insurance and the Friends of Honolulu City Lights.


            Santa's display in the courtyard of Honolulu Hale also boasts a new décor. Called the Ku'u Home Porch, the new display will be Santa's gathering place, where he will hear children's wishes from 7 p.m., beginning December 3rd through the 24th .


Honolulu City Light's Opening Night festivities have become one of the most anticipated holiday happenings in town for both visitors and locals.   "This year we are again spreading the Christmas spirit to our second city in Kapolei," said Mayor Mufi Hannemann. "We want the whole island to be able to share in this exciting holiday celebration."


The event is sponsored by the City and County of Honolulu, city employees and the Friends of Honolulu City Lights. 


Key sponsors of the 2006 Honolulu City Lights include First Hawaiian Bank, Hawaiian Electric Company, Macy's West, Kraft Foods Hawaii, John H. Connors Insurance, Hawaiian Airlines, FUJIFILM Hawaii, the City and County of Honolulu Federal Credit Union, Tom Moffatt Productions and Cox Radio Stations. 


Large crowds are again expected to flock to Sky Gate for the Tom Moffatt holiday concert, which starts at 7:30 p.m. The featured talent will include Sean Na'auao, Robi Kahakalau, Brother Noland, Afatia, Wasabi and Taimane Gardner.  Disc jockey and radio personalities from Cox Radio will emcee the show.


Food and beverages, Fuji disposable cameras, commemorative ornaments, event t-shirts and glow novelties will also be sold on the grounds throughout the evening.   Honolulu City Lights will again provide a Toys For Tots drop-off site for children.  People attending the festivities are asked to bring a new, gift-wrapped toy and drop it off in the box located at the Honolulu Hale courtyard.


The 2006 Honolulu City Lights ornaments will be available for purchase at the Friends of Honolulu City Lights booth on opening night.  The Friends have been creating ornaments since 2000 and now offer seven original scenes commemorating this popular annual event.


            All the Honolulu Hale City Lights festivities (tree lighting ceremony, parade and concert) will be cablecast LIVE on Saturday, December 2, starting at 6 p.m. on Olelo Channel 56.   A one-hour special on the Electric Light Parade will also be aired on KHON-TV (Channel 2) at 9:00 p.m. on Friday, December 22.


The celebration continues nightly through January 1, 2007.  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 holidays 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 the schedule or log on to for events at Honolulu Hale and for Kapolei Hale activities.  Santa will also visit the Honolulu Hale courtyard every evening after the concert until Christmas Eve. 



Wednesday, November 29, 2006

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