If you are spending a Christmas in Hawaii, of the most festive ways to enjoy the season is to attend one of the many elaborate Christmas parades on the islands. Guests can delve into the Christmas spirit by joining the community to observe beautifully decorated trees and floats gliding by to the tune of joyous Christmas carols. Sip cocoa with your friends and family and listen to the bells jingle as the streets become alive with lights and songs in the weeks before Christmas Day. Each of the Hawaiian Islands offers Christmas tree lighting ceremonies and parades; so you and your family will be sure to find a spectacular Yuletide procession nearby.
There are countless Christmas parades worth attending on Oahu. The Honolulu Hale’s Electric Light Parade dazzles the streets with a tree lighting illumination of over 20 trees, a large procession of floats, Christmas decorations and musical performances. Children can take pictures with Santa, go on rides and sample tasty treats at the food booths. The Honolulu City Lights Parade takes place at the Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site where families can make candles, watch the parade and enjoy festive dishes. There is also the unique opportunity to join in on the Pedal Past the Lights Holiday Bike Ride where groups become the parade themselves by cycling through the avenues of Christmas lights! Bike rentals and cocoa are free for all and guests are encouraged to dress up and adorn their bikes with jingle bells and Christmas cheer.
The Ala Wai Yacht Harbor hosts an Annual Hawaii Yacht Club Christmas Boat Parade, where beautifully decorated boats adorned with lights, Santas, elves, candy canes and other festive decorations glide by on the water. The Festival of Lights Christmas Boat Parade at Hawaii Kai Towne Center features illuminated boats on the Hawaii Kai Marina waterway and is free of charge for all viewers.
For processions on grassy and tree lined areas, families can also flock to the local golf courses at the Moanalua Valley Christmas Caravan to enjoy the seasonal sights or to the North Pole in Mililani which has a craft center and snow play zone, as well as a community parade.
The Waianae Mall’s Ho’olaulea Christmas Parade is a day-time classic which kicks off at 10:00 am and hosts a performance from the Royal Hawaiian Band. Other community parades during the Christmas season are scheduled to happen all across Oahu include the: Wahiawa Town Parade, Kaneohe Parade, Pearl City Parade, Kapahulu –Moiliili Parade, Haleiwa Parade, Aiea Community Parade, Olomana Parade, Waianae Parade (beginning at the Waianae Boat Harbor), Gentry Waipio Parade and the Manoa Parade. There is no shortage of holiday parades and festivities on Oahu, the “Gathering Place!”
The Garden Isle is famous for its Lights on Rice Parade, which begins with the Kauai Festival of Lights and the Royal Palm tree lighting. This parade boasts of nearly 2,000 performers, 60 units of floats and Christmasy treats for the whole family. On the southwestern side of the island, the annual Waimea Christmas Lights Parade happens on the Saturday before Christmas. Here guests can admire gingerbread houses on floats, Santa on his sleigh, carolers and marching bands travel along the route. After the parade, the public is welcome to join a free Waimea Christmas Party at the Hofgaard Park, where there is live music and entertainment for friends and families to celebrate the holiday season.
The Waimea Christmas Twilight Parade and All-Day Celebration is a popular event which has been running for over 50 years in the erstwhile cowboy town. Guests can enjoy witnessing the magic of Christmas come alive at the lighting of the Norfolk tree at Parker School, entertainment from carolers, and local storytellers on the same night as the parade.
In Kailua-Kona, there is a Community Christmas Parade that has occurred annually for over 30 years, highlighting holiday floats, singers and marching bands, with Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus surrounded by their elves. The Kea’au Christmas Parade is another stunning procession of singers, performers and floats in the town of Kea’au near Hilo. For a day-time option, join in the fun at Pahoa for the Christmas Parade where Santa hands out goodie bags to the children beginning at 9:30 am.
The historic town of Lahaina has a Festival of Lights where parades of marching bands, decorative floats and a merry Santa Claus waltz down Front Street. Families can also enjoy the annual lighting of the Banyan Tree, where thousands of glittering lights make the green branches twinkle. The Lahaina Cannery Mall also has a festival of trees; while the Old-Fashioned Holiday Celebration has entertainment, crafts, live music and events for all ages.
Even the quiet island of Molokai has their own ornate Christmas Parade of Lights, featuring floats and marching units unique to the island. There are contests for the most beautiful Christmas tree, the best Christmas dessert and prettiest ornament. If you are spending a scenic Christmas holiday on Molokai, you will not want to miss out of this joyful holiday parade.