The Lahaina Cannery Mall general manager is an unabashed fan of the holiday season and said it’s a time she looks forward to each year.
“We realize the mall is part of holiday tradition for many Maui families,” said Okamoto. “We see our friends and neighbors out here each year visiting Santa, listening to carols, shopping and wrapping presents. We’re part of their extended ‘ohana. We’ve literally had the opportunity to see families grow up here.”
The holidays are in full swing, with carols echoing throughout the center and twinkling lights welcoming shoppers.
St. Nick has been hanging out at Maui’s only air-conditioned shopping center for days, and he will be available all month long for photos and last-minute Christmas requests.
Special holiday entertainment continues every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until Christmas. According to Okamoto, there will be plenty of local entertainment provided by West Side school groups, church groups and community organizations.
Okamoto said that even though turning the center into a holiday destination takes a lot of work, the effort is worth it.
The 20-foot-tall lighted tree on the front lawn alone takes hours to put up, but always draws friendly honks from passing vehicles on Honoapiilani Highway. Tall as it may be, Okamoto says the tree is just a small part of the holiday festivities that Lahaina Cannery Mall has become known for.
“The tree is a nice way to let Maui know we’re in the spirit of the season,” said Okamoto, “but the whole center has really become known as a gathering place around the holidays, and throughout the year. It’s easy to get excited.”
A favorite with locals and visitors alike for many years, Three Crowns Jewelry is back in its old location at Lahaina Cannery Mall by the south side (Longs Drugs) entrance. They feature one-of-a-kind creations by owner-designer Birgitta O’Shea, as well as other Hawaii designers, including Denny Wong and Marta Howell. Come in and find that perfect Christmas gift in any price range. Call 661-1521.