HONOLULU (KHON2) — The grounds in front of Honolulu Hale are clearly not beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

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Normally, by this time of year, the city’s famous holiday tree would have been selected, cut down, delivered and displayed on the front lawn. But with the coronavirus pandemic, Honolulu Mayor Mayor Caldwell says a more cautious approach is needed.

“We would have started putting up decorations last week for Christmas holiday” said the Mayor. “But we’re going to take a more cautious approach this yea, so our decorations won’t go up until after the Thanksgiving celebration”.

Caldwell emphasized that Christmas is not being canceled, but it will look different this year.

“It’s not 2019, it’s 2020, and we have COVID-19 with us. It’s a reminder to everybody that this Christmas is not like any others but it doesn’t mean we give up. This celebration will be a display of hope. Our tree will be a display of hope,” he said.

The Mayor adds that the large holiday tree has already been selected and will be cut down soon. Once up and decorated, the City says families will be encouraged to enjoy it from their cars in a drive-by fashion. Caldwell mentioned that families will also be allowed to take photos in front of the tree to keep the tradition going.

“We will put circles around the tree with a six foot radius so you could be inside your families bubble or your living unit bubble. You can take your picture, be safe and then be on your way,” the Mayor explained.

The trees that normally adorn the courtyard at Honolulu Hale will also be put together by various City departments, but the trees will wind up somewhere else.

“The eighteen departments with the City still agreed to do trees. They will either put them in the lobbies of their offices or they are going to take them to non-profits or hospitals and put a display up in the lobbies of those places,” he said.

The Honolulu light parade will also not be taking place.

And if you’re wondering about Santa and Tutu Mele? Not to worry. They will be in the same familiar spot atop the fountain. Only this year, look out for their COVID-19 masks.

“So look for a smaller display than in year’s past, but rest assured, Christmas will happen at both Honolulu and Kapolei Hale,” assured Mayor Caldwell.

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