Seagoing light shows are true holiday treats

Water Ways
Honolulu Star Bulletin (12/09/00)
By Ray Pendleton

This time of year, from Haleiwa to Honolulu Hale, the colorful neighborhood light displays and decorations are enough to warm the most Scrooge-like of hearts.

And along our waterfronts, O`ahu's boating community gets into the holiday spirit as well, with on-board boat displays that are as elaborate as the owners' imaginations.

However, what makes the boat decorations different from a homeowner's effort is that many of the decorated boats can take their show on the road, so to speak.

With the use of portable generators, the festively lighted vessels can pull away from their docks and take part in Christmas boat parades that turn our marinas and shorelines into dazzling holiday light shows.

O`ahu's first Christmas boat parade and decorating contest began at sunset yesterday, when the newly opened Ko Olina Marina hosted its first annual event that ran from the marina, out to Paradise Cove, and back to the marina. Awards were given for creativity, color, theme and spirit.

Tonight, the Makani Kai Yacht Club will be hosting its boat parade that will run across Kaneohe Bay, to the Kaneohe Yacht Club, and back. It will begin at 5 p.m. and should give residents and visitors near the Kaneohe Beach Park a brilliant show.

Next Saturday evening, the Hawaii Kai Marina's community association will be organizing its fourth annual "Festival of Lights" Christmas Boat Parade.

As joint sponsors of the parade, Hawaii Kai Towne Center, Koko Marina Center and Hawaii Kai Shopping Center will add to the festivities with special free holiday entertainment for parade viewers.

Along their waterfronts, strolling carolers and brass ensembles will provide holiday music, and, of course, Santa Claus will be on hand to take children's Christmas wishes.

Out on the water, 40 or more decorated boats will be taking part in the parade.

The judging of the colorful entrants will take place at 6 p.m. at the Hawaii Kai Towne Center, with celebrity master of ceremonies, KHNL 8's Howard Dashefsky.

The parade's judges will include Senator Sam Slom, KITV 4's Pamela Young and Gary Sprinkle, KGMB 9's Kim Gennaula and Guy Hagi, and yours truly.

Another waterfront light show, the sixth annual Honolulu Christmas Boat Parade, is also scheduled for next Saturday, from 6 to 8 p.m. It will run a course from the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor, out onto Mamala Bay, then through Honolulu Harbor and back to the Ala Wai.

The judging of the boats taking part in this parade will be based on such categories as best theme, best use of lights, funniest, most spirit, best power boat, best sail boat, and more.

Early in the parade, as it gathers in and exits Ala Wai harbor, spectators should find an up-close and unobstructed view from the Diamond Head end of Magic Island in Ala Moana Park.

As the parade's entrance into Honolulu Harbor will coincide with the finish of downtown Honolulu's annual Jingle Bell Run at the Aloha Tower Marketplace, getting there early will be important.

The boats will then make their way through the harbor and pass in review by the Aloha Tower, making many of the marketplace's waterfront establishments prime viewing locations.

Not surprisingly, for the same reason, apartment dwellers and condo owners with oceanfront vistas often schedule their Christmas parties for the night of the parade.

From Oahu's boating community, Mele Kalikimaka!

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