Friday, May 27, 2022 |
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WAIMEA — Aletha Kaohi, a descendant of the village of Waimea, said Saturday that she sees the end of her walking tours of the country community.
She was one of two officiants for the dedication of informational signboards at Hofgaard Park in Waimea.
Kaohi, who has been conducting weekly walks through the town, said with the installation of the new signage, she might be able to reduce the number of tours she leads.
Enthusiastically pointing out aspects of life in the Westside community, long-time Waimea resident Jimmy Okada said the historic photos on the new signs jogged his memory.
Dave Walker, president of the West Kaua‘i Professional and Business Association, said the project was funded through a grant from the county’s Office of Economic Development and is intended to answer questions from visitors and residents who walk through the town. Hofgaard Park, for instance, is named after a Waimea merchant.
The 10 signboards will be placed strategically through the town from the base of the Waimea Bridge through the West Kaua‘i Technology Center, providing historical anecdotes about buildings and landmarks around the town, researched in part by Chris Faye.
Kaua‘i Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. expressed his pleasure at how the new signage will encourage walking and being able to enjoy the town in greater depth, visitors stopping during the ceremony to cross the highway in an attempt at visiting Ishihara Market, a Waimea landmark since 1934.
Penny Ono of the Waimea Main Street program said Saturday’s blessing and dedication marked the celebration of several things in Waimea.
In addition to the signboards, the dedication performed by Kaohi and Kojun Hashimoto of the West Kaua‘i Hongwanji Mission was done at a concrete stage which was completed recently along with what Walker described as the “Welcome Wall,” a stone fixture located across from First Hawaiian Bank, another Westside landmark.
Following the dedication, Ono said the town launched its Music in the Park series which features local musicians sharing their talent with the stream of people visiting the park to enjoy a rest, snack, lunch, or just study the landmarks which speak of Capt. James Cook’s landing in Waimea.
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