Here come the holidays: The tree is up at Honolulu Hale and the festivities aren’t far behind

Some Christmas festivities will be taking place this year at Honolulu Hale, but it will still be scaled back.
Published: Nov. 15, 2021 at 2:15 PM HST|Updated: Nov. 15, 2021 at 4:51 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The celebration and Christmas trees are back at Honolulu Hale, but the festivities won’t be the same as before the pandemic.

City crews harvested a 55-foot tree from a home in Kailua for this year’s City Lights celebration.

The department tree exhibit will also be back at Honolulu Hale, but attendees will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test.

The grounds will be open to everyone regardless of vaccination status.

According to city officials, the tree lighting ceremony will be on Dec. 4 at 6:30 p.m. but will only be open to dignitaries.

The ceremony will be streamed live.

The festivities were canceled last year due to the pandemic and there are certain aspects still on hold. There will be no keiki rides, photos with Santa, holiday concerts, wreath contests, or opening night parade.

Meanwhile, workers are already decorating Honolulu Hale, which will include the placement of Shaka Santa and Tutu Mele.

“I think this year, we’re looking at celebration,” said Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi. “Right now, we’re saying how much can we actually celebrate this Christmas publicly and keep the public feeling safe?”

Blangiardi said city officials will be meeting with the Department of Health to refine the rules for the event.

“For events in general, it feels so good to get back to gathering with people and celebrating,” said Makanani Sala, the executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Culture and Arts. “We want to start opening up but we have to do that safely.”

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