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Honolulu lights say "mele kalikimaka".

At precisely 6:22 P.M. on Thursday, December 8, Mayor Frank Fasi will turn on the Christmas lights decorating the 50foot Norfolk Island pine in front of Honolulu Hate (City Hall). Over the next 2 minutes, most buildings and trees in the city's civic and financial center will come on and add to the glitter.

From then until January 4, Christmas decorations of the fourth annual Honolulu City Lights pageant glow each evening from 6:15 until at least 11. They illuminate architectural treasures spanning almost 170 years.

Buildings range in style from the Greek revival portals of Washington Place (the governor's home) to the contemporary bronze glass Pauahi Tower at Bishop Square. Tiny white lights also brighten tropical street trees monkeypods, banyans, kiawes, and palms.

Two lighting ceremonies and a storytelling pageant

At Honolulu Hale, opening night festivities begin at 5 with the Royal Hawaiian Band. At 5:30, cross S. King Street for a candlelight and choral service in 146year-old Kawaiahao Church, then return to Honolulu Hale for the tree lighting, to be followed by several hours of Christmas and Hawaiian music.

Honolulu Hale's courtyard becomes "Santa's Village," forested with trees trimmed with ornaments made by city employees in an annual competition. This display stays open 8 A.M. to 11 PM. daily except Christmas. From 6:30 to 9:30 on Christmas Eve, Santa Claus takes lastminute gift orders and passes out treats. At Tamarind Park in Bishop Square, tiny white lights on monkeypod, tamarind, and wiliwili trees begin another lighting program, starting at 5:30 on December 9; afterward, a 2-hour show by the Kamehameha Schools features their glee club, band, orchestra, and dancers. For details on lunchtime Christmas shows (at least twice a week), call the Bishop Square office at (808) 545-7500. In the Meeting House at Mission Houses Museum, costumed storytellers recount traditional Christmas tales by Charles Dickens and other Victorian writers at a 2-hour gathering beginning at 7 PM. on December 23. Admission is $2 for adults, 50 cents ages 5 to 16, including refreshments and 19th-century-style gifts for children. Reservations are required; write to the museum, 553 S. King St., Honolulu 96813, or call 531-0481.

Highlights as you walk or drive the loop Along the loop, note the rain scene between the coconut trees at the Board of Water Supply Building.

The 1927 Hawaiian Electric Building reappears this year as a red, green, and gold Christmas present, its main fagades trimmed with bells, bows, and the greeting, "Mele Kalikimaka" (Merry Christmas). Tiny white lights outline the arcade of the neighboring Old Federal Building. At the restored Iolani Palace, white Oriental lanterns highlight the roof balustrade and span the royal palms along the entrance drive as they did in King Kalakaua's time.

What about shopping?

Downtown shops close after working hours, but those in the Iolani Palace and Mission Houses museums have gifts worth a daytime trip. They also have good assortments of note cards and books on Hawaii.

For its 1988 commemorative tree ornament, the Palace Shop (open 8:30 to 3:30 Tuesdays through Saturdays; 522-0833) is offering a small-scale reproduction in gold- or silver-plated brass of the Victorian lamp on the palace steps; $12. The shop also offers its 1987 ornament, a miniature reproduction in metal of the garlanded lady in the etched crystal panes of the palace entry doors; $12.

At the Mission Gift Shop (open 9 to 4 daily; 531-0481), look for dolls copied from those missionary Hiram Bingham had made out of a table leg for his daughter; $6.95. You'll also find replicas of missionary-era porcelain bells and miniature blue Willow china, as well as silkscreened Hawaiian quilt pattern tablecloths and napkins.
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Copyright 1988 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Honolulu City Lights pageant
Date:Dec 1, 1988
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