The 35th annual Islandwide Christmas Expo // © 2017 Getty Images
Feature image (above): The Kahala Hotel & Resort will be the toast of the town Nov. 10-11. // © 2017 Getty Images
From holiday cheer to fans cheering as road warriors hit Honolulu’s streets, December dazzles with spirit and festivities that make Oahu a true winter wonderland.
Celebrating Penfolds in Hawaii
The Kahala Hotel & Resort will be the toast of the town Nov. 10-11 with its series of Wine Spectator events hosted by Penfolds Wine Ambassador DLynn Proctor. Lauded among Wine Enthusiast’s Top “40 Under 40” Tastemakers for 2014, Proctor will share his oenophile moxie at The Veranda Suite and Terrace with 90-plus rated vinos and appetizers, a Shiraz Master Class Tasting and an Australian-influenced five-course pairing dinner at Hoku’s restaurant prepared by Kahala executive chef Wayne Hirabayashi. For reservations, visit KahalaResort.com.
Lights, Cameras, Action
On Dec. 2, Honolulu City Lights (HonoluluCityLights.org) officially plugs Oahu into holiday hoopla. The monthlong celebration at Honolulu Hale (530 S. King St.) launches with an electric light parade, wreath displays, a 50-foot Norfolk Pine lighting and a concert. Locals and visitors gather to purchase Hawaiian-themed Christmas decor such as Spam musubi, surfboards and SUP ornaments.
Literally beginning with a bang, Dec. 10’s 45th Honolulu Marathon (HonoluluMarathon.org) will light up city streets with its legendary 5 a.m. fireworks start at Ala Moana Beach Park. Some 28,000 diehards pound the pavement for 26.2 miles through Downtown, Waikiki, Diamond Head, Kahala and Hawaii Kai before a high-energy finish at Kapiolani Park. Watch for Kenya’s Lawrence Cherono, 2016’s winner who torched the course record at 2:09:39.
Time for Presents
The 35th annual Islandwide Christmas Expo (IslandWideCraftExpos.com) jump-starts the season’s shopping frenzy Nov. 25-27 as Blaisdell Exhibition Hall and Arena (777 Ward Ave.) blazes with gifts galore. Some 450 vendors tempt with locally made crafts, clothing, decorated products and tempting island edibles. Free entertainment engages youngsters while adults churn through the shopping list.
“Always on the second weekend in December, the Honolulu Marathon is Hawaii’s largest sporting event and fourth largest U.S. marathon. Near the 23-mile point, the course passes within shouting distance of world-famous The Kahala Hotel & Resort. The weekend also includes the Kalakaua Merrie Mile and a 10 kilometer option, both of which are great for marathoners’ traveling partners, who may not be ready for a full 26.2 miles.”
— Dr. Jim Barahal, President, Honolulu Marathon Association