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Rotary Club of Kaua‘i Lights on Rice holiday parade is a go

LIHU‘E — The Kaua‘i Classic Cars group arrived at Kukui Grove Center expecting a parade on Saturday.

But after learning there wasn’t a parade, the group stuck around to add their special illumination to the premiere of the Kukui Grove Center Holiday Light Show, which attracted hundreds of people to the parking lots of Long’s Drugs stores and the adjoining Hawai‘iUSA Federal Credit Union.

“We were blown away with the amount of people,” said Melissa McFerrin Warrack, the special events coordinator with Kukui Grove. “After all that shopping and dining through the weekend, people waited for the holiday lights to go on. This had to be the best premiere of the Holiday Light Show, ever!”

Adding more magic to the Holiday Light Show, the Aloha Dance Studio performers did a guest appearance, dancing to the lights and choreographed music.

Kukui Grove Center will have a special Lights on Rice post show on Friday when the free light and music show starts at 8 p.m.

“Kukui Grove is hosting a free shuttle service to the Lights on Rice parade,” McFerrin Warrack said. “From 4 to 9 p.m., people can park at Kukui Grove, and take the shuttle from the bus stop area next to Macy’s to the First Hawaiian Bank, Lihu‘e Branch. Our Lights on Rice post show will start at 8 p.m.”

The Rotary Club of Kaua‘i Lights on Rice holiday parade is one of three events, all within walking distance of each other, that will fill the downtown Lihu‘e area with excitement throughout Friday. The Lights on Rice parade anchors the events, which start with the Kaua‘i Museum Christmas Craft Fair that returns following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting at 9 a.m. on Friday, the craft fair offers shoppers an opportunity to find a Christmas gift from among the craft vendors and the opportunity to enjoy local favorite dishes from participating food vendors in the museum’s back parking lot.

Volunteers and community sponsors of the Festival of Lights Committee — chaired by its founder Elizabeth Freeman — as well as workers having been toiling to decorate the monkeypod trees, the Royal Palms and the facade of the historic County Building in time for their premiere that takes place from 6 p.m. on Friday.

The Festival of Lights, including the decorated front porch of the historic County Building will be lighted up every night through the end of the year.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will pay special visits starting Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. Other appearances by the icons of Christmas will be on Dec. 8, 15, and 22 from 6 to 8 p.m. Free photos are taken by the Festival of Lights Photo Elf.

“Each year, we endeavor to create an environment of magical holiday beauty that people can carry in their hearts,” Freeman said. “The Festival of Lights is noted for its use of recycled materials to make all the decorations on all of our trees. Our event is enjoyed by everyone in the community — both residents and visitors alike — from across the island.”

These events form the backdrop for the Rotary Club of Kaua‘i Lights on Rice holiday parade that is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. from the Vidinha Stadium parking lots, up Rice Street to end at the lawn of the historic County Building.

Parade organizers, including the parade chair Ryan Fussell, said the parade has grown to more than 60 units and more than 3,000 people participating in the event that welcomes the holidays to downtown Lihu‘e.

Beyond the Lights on Rice post show, Kukui Grove will present the free Holiday Light Show on Thursdays through Saturdays, Dec. 14 through 23 starting at 7 p.m. A special New Year’s show will take place on Dec. 28 and Dec. 29, starting at 7 p.m.

Produced by the historic Waimea Theater and Cultural Arts Center, Waimea town will host The Waimea Town Light Parade on Dec. 16 starting at sunset.
Source: The Garden Island

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