Celebrate 40 years of Christmas folk art by the late Auntie Josie Chansky by visiting Kauai's Festival of Lights and enjoy a huge variety of Christmas decorations including a Christmas tree made from 7,500 green toothpicks and wreaths created with egg cartons by Auntie Josie Chansky.
Kauai Festival of Lights, County Building, Lihue, Kauai
For nearly 40 years, first on Oahu and then 18 years on Kauai, Auntie Josie Chansky, a folk artist born and raised on Kauai, opened her home to share Christmas folk art decorations that she created and displayed on the outside and inside of her home. Auntie Josie's home became known as "The Christmas House" and generations began making a visit part of their holiday traditions. In 1996, Auntie Josie's collection was saved by community member Elizabeth Freeman and donated to the County of Kauai. "Festival of Lights" was born providing a public venue to display the decorations.
As an artist and designer Elizabeth Freeman was intent on creating a world of magical beauty for children and families. She has now produced Festival of Lights for 15 years to showcase Auntie Josie's unique Folk Art creations as well as designing and overseeing the delightful "Kauai-style" decorations crafted by volunteers to fashion a Holiday tradition for Kauai uniquely her own. Festival of Lights represents about 35 percent of Auntie Josie's decorations with the remaining pieces designed by Elizabeth. She relies on fantastic volunteers to make the ornaments based on her samples and with her materials.
Newer additions created by the local community include Kauai-style themed trees: SPAM, Hula Bear, Kilauea Lighthouse, Peacock and the nationally-recognized Aloha Recycled Treasures made from plastic water bottles.
Kauai's Festival of Lights takes place at the historic County Building on Rice Street in Lihue, Kauai. Built in 1913, the Kauai County Building was the first county building in the Territory of Hawaii and recently reopened after a $4.8 million, 16-month restoration project.
Kauai's Festival of Lights is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday evenings, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. through Christmas Eve. For more information call 808-639-8564 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.