First Kauaian Days features nearly 30 events across island

It got off to a bit of a slow start, but now a wintertime long week’s worth of events has snowballed into the huge endeavor organizers hoped it would be.

Kauaian Days, celebrating and honoring the diversity of the island and its communities, is now nine days long and 28 events strong.

It is based on the theme “Aloha: It’s Kaua’i’s Spirit,” celebrating one island of many peoples, “all Kauaians.”

The grand-opening event is Saturday, Jan. 18, and is a multi-cultural parade in honor of Kaua’i’s last monarch, King Kaumuali’i. “He Inoa no Kaumuali’i” will run from Kukui Grove Center, down Kaumuali’i Highway to Kauai Community College, and already has over 50 units registered to participate.

There will be pa’u riders and other mounted units, walking units including a King Kaumuali’i royal court, lots of vehicular units including Ambassador of Aloha Maryanne Kusaka, Hawaiian organizations on foot and in vehicles, and more.

It begins at 10 a.m., flowing nearly immediately into a ho’olaulea at KCC at noon, with entertainment, food, arts, crafts, children’s areas, and more, sponsored by King Auto Center.

Edee Bandmann, 634-5352, is central coordinator for Kauaian Days, and in charge of the parade as well. Other area coordinators are Joel Guy, north, 826-4476; January Martinez, east, 823-8444; Rebecca Smith, south, 742-2829; and Joanne Watanabe, west, 337-1641.

Through the efforts of Kauaian Days volunteers, the island will benefit from having an inventory of pa’u costumes that can be used for other celebrations, including, possibly, the reinstatement of a Kaua’i Aloha Week festival parade, said Barbara Bennett, island coordinator for Kauaian Days.

The first day of the celebration is particularly busy, with the intent of Kauaian Days being for each community to participate in whatever ways it sees fit.

Community-driven projects include cleanup initiatives north, east, south and west, an unanticipated occurrence that thrills Bennett, she said.

“With a unified vision comes positive changes,” she said. Kauaian Days are possible thanks to a $10,000 grant from the County of Kauai, and donations of thousands of dollars worth of in-kind contributions, cash, gift certificates and other services from Kaua’i businesses, Bennett said.

Volunteers are still being enlisted to help, and can call Bennett, 742-1050, or e-mail her at bbkauai@hawaiian.net.

A Hanalei River cleanup is set for 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 18. Please call 635-2884 for information on that. Kauai ATV (all terrain vehicle) sponsors a cleanup of the Maha’ulepu area on Sunday, Jan. 19, from 10 a.m. to noon. Please call 742-2734 for information about that event.

On Wednesday, Jan. 22, the Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii in Waimea sponsors a Waimea cleanup, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Please call 338-1418 for information on that. A Kapa’a beach cleanup sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii Kapa’a branch is set for Friday, Jan. 24, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Please call 821-4406 for information on that.

Kauaian Days events run from Saturday, Jan. 18 to Sunday, Jan. 26, from Ha’ena to Waimea, and included in those nine days is free residential pickup of recyclable materials, courtesy of Haena Recycling (please call 652-1075).

Also on the opening day, Saturday, Jan. 18, the Kauai Children’s Discovery Museum in Kauai Village, Waipouli, offers free admission from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The current exhibit is “Journey into the Deep.” Please call 823-8222 for more information.

The busy opening day concludes with a concert for peace at the Kaua’i Community College Performing Arts Center, at 7 p.m., featuring an ecumenical service featuring local choirs from many churches and schools, chants for peace from the monks of the Saiva Siddhanta (Hindu) Church in Wailua Homesteads, and much more.

The event coincides with the annual commemoration of The Season for Peace and Non-Violence. Kaua’i joins this nationwide initiative to educate and inspire communities to practice cooperative, co-creative activities that lead to understanding and harmony among peoples, religions and governments, according to event organizers.

Please call 245-5110, or e-mail the Rev. Suzanne Stover, scs.aloha@verizon.net, for more information.

After the long opening day, Kauaian Days organizers hardly take a break, because on Sunday, Jan. 19, another full day of activities is planned, with A Day of Aloha at the Hyatt Regency Kauai Resort & Spa, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with walking tours of the Makawehi Sand Dune, slack-key guitar music, other entertainment, crafts, and more. Please call 742-3770 for more information.

Nearby, at CJM Country Stables, the Kauai All Girl Rodeo Association has a rodeo, with free admission, from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., with barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, breakaway roping, steer un-decorating and dally team roping.

Food will be available for purchase. Please call 822-7012 for more information.

On Monday, Jan. 20, at 10 a.m., the late Fortunato “Foto” Agosto, Jr., will be honored with a plaque placed in his honor at the county’s Hanapepe tennis courts behind Hanapepe Stadium.

Agosto, a player and coach of many sports, and an officer with the Kaua’i Police Department, embraced all that he met and knew. Please call 635-8651 for more details on that event.

As that same day is the celebration of the late Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, public schools are closed, allowing children to participate in makahiki games at Vidinha Stadium, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sponsored by DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) and GREAT (Gang Resistance Education And Training), the event will include a Hawaiian Olympics, punt, pass and kick football skills contests, free lunch for participants from noon to 2 p.m., entertainment, and more. Children seven to 15 years of age may participate, but parents have to register them and sign waiver forms by Wednesday, Jan. 15, at any county neighborhood center. Please call 742-1050 for more information.

Comedian Frank DeLima has confirmed he will be in attendance at the stadium on that holiday.

Also on Monday, Jan. 20, a day of celebrating is taking place, beginning at 10 a.m., at Hanalei’s Ching Young Village and Hanalei Center along Kuhio Highway. Entertainment including hula and live music, sidewalk sales, and more mark the centers’ participation in Kauaian Days. Please call 635-6589 for more information.

That same day, Kilauea’s Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens is offering special tours for $5, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. That is a significant discount from normal admission prices. Please call 828-0525 for reservations and more information.

On Tuesday, Jan. 21, a workshop, “Who You Are Makes A Difference,” will be conducted, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., by Helice Bridges, at Kaua’i Community College. Please call 337-1641 for more information. That session will be repeated at 8:30 a.m. at KCC Thursday, Jan. 23. The culminating event is Saturday, Jan. 25, at 7 p.m. at KCC, where local folks will tell stories of their importance.

On Wednesday, Jan. 22, a makahiki game day for keiki is set for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Lawai Beach Resort. Please call 742-2829 for more information.

That evening, at the Kauai Heritage Center in Kauai Village at Waipouli, the first of a two-part lecture on King Kaumuali’i will take place, at 6 p.m. The second session is Thursday, Jan. 23, at the same time and place. The charge is $10 per session, or $15 for both sessions. Please call 821-2070 for more information.

On Thursday, Jan. 23, demonstrations of poi-making will take place at Waipa, near Hanalei, from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., followed by a tour of the Waipa area at 11 a.m. Please call 826-9969 for more information.

On Friday, Jan. 24, E Pili Kakou I Ho’okahi Lahui, a hula retreat which draws international visitors, begins at 7 a.m. at the Kaua’i Marriott Resort & Beach Club, continuing Saturday, Jan. 25. Kumu hula Blaine Kamalani Kia hosts the event. Please call 246-4732 for more information.

On Friday beginning at 7:30 a.m. at the KCC dining room, the Women in Business Roundtable gathering features KCC business students discussing their visions for their futures on the island. Breakfast prepared by KCC culinary arts students is $12. Please call 742-1050 for reservations and more information.

From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. is the every-Friday art night in Hanapepe. Most of the galleries stay open late for this event, which sometimes includes street musicians strolling Hanapepe Road. Please call 335-0227 for more information.

On Saturday, Jan. 25, a Kauaian Days tennis tournament is set for Kiahuna Swim & Tennis Club in Po’ipu, beginning at 9 a.m., with men’s and women’s doubles categories planned. Please call 742-9533 for more information.

At 10 a.m. Saturday, a ceremony at Lydgate Park honors the late Gurudeva, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, founder of the Kauai Hindu Monastery in Wailua Homesteads. He was recipient of the international U Thant Peace Award in 2000, and contributed much to the island in terms of his vision for it. Part of that vision is on display during Kauaian Days. “One island, many peoples, all Kauaians” was part of his vision.

Included this day is the dedication of the new bicycle and walking path, near Kamalani Kai Bridge. Please call 822-1064 for more information.

An open house at Nana’s House is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The house is behind the Waimea Big Save store, and will host keiki hula and ‘ukulele performances, sewing class displays, cooking and baking class displays, art activities, and more. Please call 338-0252 for more information.

Closing ceremonies for Kauaian Days are set for Sunday, Jan. 26, with the main venue Kamokila Hawaiian Village off Kuamo’o Road in Wailua. Festivities start with dinner served at 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., with entertainment by various hula halau.

Since parking is limited at the village, shuttles will bring people between the village and the Kuamo’o Road parking lot for Opaeka’a Falls viewing. Puna Dawson and Deborah Duda are co-chairing the closing event. Please call 332-7668, 246-6997, 742-1050, or e-mail bbkauai@hawaiian.net for more information.

The closing ceremony for peace is set for 5:30 p.m., with various halau performing dances at various beaches around the island.

The Lawai International Center is holding its last-Sunday-of-the-month open house program this month to coincide with Kauaian Days, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Please call 822-5940 for more information on that.

Staff Writer Paul C. Curtis can be reached at mailto:pcurtis@pulitzer.net or 245-3681 (ext. 224).

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