Did you know that there’s a manmade Christmas tree in Kaimukī?
The bare metal contraption overlooks most of the old Honolulu town, from on top of a small hill behind the Kaimukī Fire Station. Most people aren’t even aware that the tree exists, nor do they realize the hill it calls home is actually a small city park.
The park was christened back in the 1990s, with a ceremony and all. The tree, however, was like the cherry that topped it off. The mayor at the time hoped to mimic annual holiday festivities down at Honolulu Hale with this small "tree."
Every first Thursday of December, the metal contraption gets decorated with colorful Christmas lights. This annual tradition also kicks off the popular Kaimukī Christmas Parade. But in actuality, it’s always Christmas at Christmas Tree Park because the tree is a permanent fixture.
The park, although tiny, is a nice respite from the city life. Visitors can access it in under 15 minutes from Waikīkī. I love that this park has so much history beneath its soil; history that can be discovered in one of its many names.
In addition to being called Christmas Tree Park, it’s official name is Pu‘u o Kaimuki (Kaimukī Hill). It is also called Bunker Hill because during World War II, it served as a military surveillance bunker. And way before that, legend says that it was home to those mythical menehune; hence the name, Menehune Hill.
PU‘U O KAIMUKI / 951 Koko Head Ave., Honolulu, HI 96816 (Map) / Street parking only
June 27th, 2013