Honolulu City Lights brings us back again

Hawaiian Electric
3 min readDec 2, 2021


by Michelle Orian-Lau | Dec. 2, 2021

Photo courtesy of Friends of Honolulu City Lights.

With all the uncertainty throughout this pandemic, the Honolulu City Lights have been a bright spot for many. So we can count on Shaka Santa, Tutu Mele and all of the outdoor displays to return this holiday season on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, through Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022.

Photo courtesy of Friends of Honolulu City Lights.

Although there will be no Opening Night celebration for the public, the tree lighting ceremony will broadcast live on Olelo. You won’t want to miss all 55 feet of the tree’s festive decorations.

Olelo Channel 53

  • Saturday, Dec. 4 at 6:30 p.m. — live ceremony event

Olelo Channel 49

  • Sunday, Dec. 19 at 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 22 at 10 p.m.
  • Friday, Dec. 24 at 5 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 25 at 11 a.m.

I always look forward to seeing what the creative minds of our city employees come up with each year with their department trees. The tree display returns this year (it was canceled last year due to the pandemic) to the Honolulu Hale Courtyard. The display will be open daily 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. starting Dec. 5 through Jan. 2. Please note that masks are required within on the city grounds.

The collectable ornaments featuring Shaka Santa are also on sale this year. The ornaments are a great stocking stuffer and all proceeds support the annual celebration. You can find them at honolulucitylights.org or at First Hawaiian Bank and Macy’s locations on Oahu (while supplies) last.

Sadly, there will be no parade this year. The parade usually draws thousands to the sidewalks along King Street. With COVID-19 still in our community and our youngest keiki not yet eligible for vaccinations, it’s just not time yet to gather for the parade.

I’ve been lucky to serve on the Friends of Honolulu City Lights, the nonprofit organization that supports the city in holding the annual celebration, for these last eight holiday seasons. But COVID-19 has posed an interesting challenge for us while we’ve worked with the city to plan the event. For 37 years, the Honolulu City Lights has been about bringing families together and bringing smiles to keikis’ faces, which can be hard to do while making sure everyone is at least six feet apart.

Last year, the holidays displays were scaled back to limit foot traffic. This year, we’re thrilled that the public will be welcomed back to walk the Frank F. Fasi Civic Center Grounds and take in the lights. We’re hopeful that the parade, entertainment, vendor booths and rides can return next year.

But no matter what, you can always count on Santa to be there each holiday season. So make sure to throw him a shaka when you see him at Honolulu Hale.

Photo courtesy of Friends of Honolulu City Lights.

Michelle Orian-Lau is a senior communications consultant at Hawaiian Electric and vice president of the Friends of Honolulu City Lights



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