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East // East Oahu News
Carol Chang

Behold: Lights Above Kaimuki

Sometimes you just have to save a tradition, and two Kaimuki High alumni did just that for the community’s “floating” Christmas tree.

Located at Pu’u O Kaimuki Mini Park above the fire station, the metal tree remained dark after the town Christmas Parade this year, creating a buzz among regulars who are used to seeing it glow with lights every year. Bulldogs Jake Shimabukuro and Jeff Lau directed the light-the-tree effort with help from volunteer electricians, Facebook and a network of friends.

“This has been such a fun project,” stated ukulele star Shimabukuro on his Facebook page after the Dec. 23 tree-lighting party. “So many people have been reaching out from the community to show their support. That’s what it’s all about.

“After the local news announced … that the tree would not be lit due to vandalism and damage to the tree, (my friend) Jeff called me and said we should do something about this.”

Shimabukuro’s electrician cousin and a friend repaired what they could and replaced most of the broken bulbs. A permit was obtained and the tree was officially sparkling by 6 p.m. Dec. 23.

There were ukulele-fired up Christmas carols, of course, plus milk, cookies and a rain-filled blessing.

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