Hawaii’s John John Florence hangs ten during the Vans World Cup of Surfing. // © 2013 ASP/Cestari
Dec. 1-20: Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. Surf’s up, and that means it’s time once again for this high-profile professional surfing series, staged in the monstrous winter waves of the North Shore. The events take place during the day, when the conditions produce the biggest waves, and help to determine this year’s esteemed Vans Triple Crown champion.
Dec. 7: Christmas in Waimea. The upcountry ranch town of Waimea presents a day of arts, crafts, music and yuletide season activities. Locals and visitors turn out for a festive parade winding from historic Church Row to Waimea Park, highlighted by Santa and a brigade of lighted trucks.
Dec. 28: Traditional Mochi Pounding. A normally sleepy village turns lively during the annual mochi-zuki celebration, when islanders make Japanese rice cakes in the tradition of their ancestors. At Akiko’s Buddhist Bed and Breakfast in Wailea, longtime residents share stories of days gone by, and clients can take a turn at pounding the glutinous sticky rice for good luck.
Dec. 6-24: Festival of Lights. To celebrate the holiday season, this cherished annual family event opens with performances by local choirs, a parade of floats down Lihue’s Rice Street and the lighting of Kauai’s historic county building. Clients can enjoy the Christmas decorations inside the building Friday through Sunday evening.
Dec. 21: Waimea Lighted Christmas Parade. This fun, homespun west Kauai procession runs along Kaumualii Highway from the intersection at Waimea Canyon Drive to Hofgaard Park, in the center of town. Afterward, locals and visitors mingle over light refreshments, sing carols together and enjoy live entertainment in a setting of holiday lights.
Dec. 7-8: Holiday Lighting of the Banyan Tree. Lahaina’s historic banyan brightens up for the holidays with thousands of colored lights. Visitors browse the holiday crafts fair, choirs sing Hawaiian carols, Santa hosts a cookie workshop and kids pose for photos with a Hawaiian snowman.
Dec. 4, 11, 18, 25: Masters of Hawaiian Music. Every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Napili Kai Beach Resort, entertainer George Kahumoku Jr. serves as master of ceremonies for a show starring revered Hawaii musicians. This month’s guests include Dennis Kamakahi, Ledward Kaapana, Herb Ohta and Jon Yamasato.
Dec. 7 to Jan. 3: Honolulu City Lights. The downtown area sparkles with yuletide festivities, presided over by the city’s 65-foot Norfolk Island pine. In the lobby of Honolulu Hale (City Hall), clients can browse exhibits of holiday trees and wreaths.
Dec. 8: Honolulu Marathon. This footrace may be 40 years old, but it’s still going strong. The scenic 26.2-mile course starts downtown and winds through Waikiki to east Honolulu, then back to Waikiki and finishes in Kapiolani Park. The entire route is lined with cheering crowds, and a stage with hula dancers adds to the festivities.