Discovering Honolulu City Lights: A Hawaiian Holiday Joy

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Are you ready to explore one of the best events in Honolulu?

The Honolulu City Lights Festival is a spectacular annual event that will amaze you. With stunning fireworks displays, live music, and an array of cultural activities.

This event offers locals and visitors alike a night to remember. From rich Hawaiian culture to attractive parades, there is something for everyone at the festival.

Join us for an unforgettable evening – experience the illuminating beauty of Honolulu's city lights!


Honolulu City Lights Overview  

Honolulu is more than just a tropical paradise - it's also home to a dazzling holiday tradition that locals and visitors alike look forward to every year: the Honolulu City Lights Festival.


For over 35 years, the festival has transformed downtown Honolulu into a twinkling winter wonderland, complete with towering Christmas trees, shimmering light displays, and festive music.


In addition to the magical lights, the festival also features a host of family-friendly activities, from visits with Santa to keiki rides and games. 

What is Honolulu City Lights? 

Honolulu City Lights Festival is an annual event that takes place during the holiday season in downtown Honolulu.


It is a celebration of the Christmas spirit that fills the city with joy, happiness, and wonder.

This city-wide festival is famous for its stunning light displays, sparkling decorations, and various holiday-themed fun activities.


Honolulu City Lights brings together families, friends, and strangers to experience the magic of Christmas together.


This festival features an opening night parade, a 50-foot tree lighting ceremony, live entertainment, food vendors, and a visit from Santa Claus himself! 

When is Honolulu City Lights?

Initially starting in 1985, it has been continuing ever since, and this year, it is going to be grander and brighter than ever.


This year the festive season begins on December 2nd until 29th and the lights will be turned on at 6 pm in the evening. 

Is Honolulu City Lights Free?

This merry tradition is entirely free for all to enjoy. You can take in the sights and sounds of Honolulu's magical winter wonderland without spending money.

From the twinkling Christmas lights that light up the city streets to the fun-filled activities, it is all open and available free of charge. 

Where is Honolulu City Lights? 

It's located in the heart of downtown Honolulu, specifically on King Street fronting Honolulu Hale (City Hall).

As soon as the sun begins to set, the city awakens and the lights come to life. Bright lights decorate the trees and buildings, creating a magical atmosphere that fills the air with holiday cheer. 


Honolulu City Lights - A Holiday Tradition In Oahu

Every year, the Honolulu City Lights light up the city's skyline, marking the beginning of the holiday season in Oahu.


This shining event is more than just a display of colorful lights; it's a celebration of culture and community.


Visitors and residents alike gather around to experience the warm spirit of Aloha that fills the atmosphere.


From the iconic Shaka Santa and Mrs. Claus surfing on a wave of lights to the beautifully decorated Christmas tree, Honolulu City Lights is a holiday tradition that should not be missed.

The event features many activities that will leave you in awe, such as vibrant light parades showcasing high school marching bands. 

It's a time of year when we can come together, share laughs, and make unforgettable memories.

A Festival Born out of Love for Community

Honolulu City Lights Festival is a wonderful example of community-driven events that emphasize the importance of bringing people together during the festive season.

This festival, which started as a small gathering around shining trees, has evolved into a grand spectacle that attracted tourists from all over the world.

Celebrating Christmas in Hawaii is a unique experience - the palm trees, the beaches, and the warm weather make it an ideal holiday destination for those who want to escape the usual hustle and bustle of the cold winter.

The Honolulu City Lights festival is more than just a light show; it's a perfect representation of the community's culture and the spirit of togetherness that thrives through it.

Festivities Galore at The Annual Honolulu City Event

Honolulu City Lights Festival is an annual event that is highly anticipated by locals and visitors alike. With a wide array of festivities on offer, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

The King Street tree lighting ceremony sets the tone for the night, creating a festive and magical atmosphere.

As the night wears on, Paradise Productions takes center stage and showcases some of Hawaii's top musical artists, including Kapono Beamer and Rick Blandiard.

However, the highlight of the festival is the electric light parade, which features public workers' floats adorned in dazzling lights, sparkling their way through downtown streets. 

Section Key-Takeaway

Honolulu City Lights is a holiday tradition that celebrates culture and community with colorful lights, activities, and the spirit of Aloha.


Celebrating Honolulu City Lights

Honolulu City Lights Festival is an annual celebration that showcases the best of Honolulu's festive spirit.

This winter wonderland places a special emphasis on joy, love, and lots of fun for the whole family, no matter their age. 

From a brighten Christmas tree to a skeleton dragon made entirely of lights, the festival offers unique light installations that are sure to entice and mesmerize visitors. 

The festival also provides a jolly atmosphere with musical performances, live entertainment, and food vendors offering tasty treats to keep guests satisfied. 

Wreath Contest and Tree Lighting Ceremony

This grand event is filled with vibrant and exciting activities that are sure to get you in the festive spirit.

One of the main features of the celebrations is the wreath contest, where artists and enthusiasts come together to create stunning holiday wreaths from uncommon resources.

These wreaths are then displayed throughout the city for all to enjoy. As the day turns into night, the excitement builds up for the tree lighting ceremony.

The city officials gather everyone around as they illuminate a massive Christmas tree - the perfect start to a joyous holiday season. 

The Electric Light Parade

The parade is a true highlight of the event, with floats and marching bands lighting up the night sky.

But this is no ordinary parade - public workers get creative with their value vehicles, turning them into stunning works of art that light up the streets. 

The high school marching bands provide the perfect soundtrack, making the experience a feast for both the eyes and ears.

This is a spectacle that you won't want to miss and these magical moments are what keeps us coming back year after year. 

Section Key-Takeaway

Honolulu City Lights Festival is an annual celebration that features unique light installations, musical performances, live entertainment, and food vendors to create a joyous atmosphere.

The city celebrates the festive season with a wreath contest, a tree lighting ceremony, and other exciting activities.

An extraordinary parade with creative floats, lighted up by the night sky and accompanied by high school marching bands, is the highlight of the event.


The History of Honolulu City Lights

Honolulu in December is a truly special place. For starters, the weather is perfect - the sun is shining, the sky is blue, and there's a gentle breeze in the air.

But even more magical than the weather is the transformation that takes place in the Honolulu Hale Courtyard.

Once a year, the courtyard comes alive with twinkling lights, festive decorations, and smiling faces. This is the annual Honolulu City Lights, a celebration of community spirit and local tradition.

The event began with a simple Christmas tree exhibition by Former Mayor Frank Fasi, but has since grown into an iconic Honolulu holiday tradition.

Honolulu City Lights has a fascinating history that dates back to its early years when the event was mainly centered around beautifully decorated trees put up by various public offices around town. But as the years passed, it evolved into something much greater.

Today, it is one of the most highly anticipated holiday celebrations around, complete with high school marching bands performing festive tunes, food stalls serving Hawaiian delicacies, and contests that showcase the creativity and talent of the locals. 

Every year on December 2nd, the city comes alive with electric light parades that leave spectators amazed every time. The magnificent display of lights along King St is like something out of a fairytale.

Section Key-Takeaway

Honolulu City Lights is an iconic holiday celebration that brings twinkling lights, festive decorations, and smiling faces to the Honolulu Hale Courtyard each December.



The Honolulu City Lights experience is one that calls to those who are in search of a festive and joyful occasion.

Not only does it bring communities together, but it also preserves Hawaiian cultural heritage.

And with an array of activities, performances, and attractions, there’s something for everyone!

Start planning your trip to experience the Honolulu City Lights in this December. Hawaii has to offer at this unique event. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What time is Honolulu City Lights?

Honolulu City Lights usually kicks off around 4 p.m. The official timing might change, so checking their website is best.

Is Honolulu City Lights free?

Yes, entry to the Honolulu City Lights event is entirely free of charge. However, some activities or attractions inside may have a cost.

Can you walk around the Honolulu City Lights?

Absolutely. Strolling through the lights and displays at your own pace is one of the main charms of this holiday tradition.

Who wrote the song Honolulu City Lights?

The iconic song 'Honolulu City Lights' was written by Keola Beamer, a renowned Hawaiian musician and composer.

Will there be Honolulu City Lights this year?

The city plans to celebrate with the traditional event, complete with a festive Opening Night celebration on December 2nd until 29th, 2023.

You can explore the shining holiday displays and enjoy the many activities at the Frank F. Fasi Civic Center Grounds. It's bound to be a magical experience that won't soon be forgotten.