Wailuku’s First Friday town party on Dec. 4 was extra festive with the addition of holiday lights strung throughout the street, a window decorating contest and Malino live on the Maui Thing stage. “This year we wanted to do something extra special to decorate the town,” said Ashley Takitani Leahey, a Wailuku community volunteer. “Since it won’t ever snow in Wailuku, we took it upon ourselves to bring holiday spirit to First Friday in a different way.”
An ode to historic Wailuku, Sae Design and Maui Thing coordinated the “Light Up Wailuku” contest for local businesses, with the goal of lighting up the town–just as it had been in the past. “We’ve heard stories from our grandparents and other lifetime Wailuku residents about Christmas parades through Market Street, lights in every window and bustling small businesses throughout the holiday season,” Leahey said. “We wanted to bring that energy back!”
Twenty businesses made the street bright by entering the first annual “Light Up Wailuku” contest. The contest was judged by Councilmember Mike Victorino, county Managing Director Keith Regan and actor/writer/local celebrity Kathy Collins. All winners received a free hour of financial consulting with Patrick Ing, CPA; a free banner from the Sign Source; and a large poinsettia plant to add to their holiday décor. The Best Window winner received a gift certificate from 808 on Main as well.
The Most Original prize went to Green Ti; the Most Beautiful award went to Simply Soul and the Most Festive award went to Kama`aina Loan. Swan Interiors took the prize for Best Window.
In addition to the light contest, The County of Maui and Maui Electric Company, along with a team of Wailuku supporters, worked into the wee hours on Thursday night to light up the street for First Friday. Rows of string lights now liven up the street, bringing an extra-festive feeling to the town.
Photo of Most Beautiful award winner courtesy Ashley Takitani Leahy