Mall revs up with Dad’s Day Car Show

LIHU‘E — Automotive enthusiasts rolled up from around the island Saturday at Kukui Grove Center for the Dad’s Day Car Show.

Melissa Nobriga pulled up with a trailer hauling a 1931 Ford.

“It’s my dad’s car,” said Douglas Nobriga, who had his own collection of cars out for the show. “He’s working on rebuilding it.”

Harvey Maeda of the Kaua‘i Classic Cars group, which hosted the event along with the Kaua‘i Volkswagen Club, said he was unable to get the wrecker this year because Roger Ridgley had a prior job.

Kaua‘i police officers were able to take in part of the show after directing traffic through Lihu‘e earlier in the day for the King Kamehameha Celebration parade. (See Monday’s edition of The Garden Island for coverage of that event.)

Jonell Kaohelauli‘i, the marketing director for Kukui Grove, said this year’s show included the car enthusiasts hosting a food drive benefiting the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank with prizes being awarded to drivers who participated with food contributions.

“The mall has been pretty busy for Father’s Day,” Kaohelauli‘i said. “Deja Vu is hosting its Oakley promotion, Macy’s has its big One Day Sale and the Dad’s Coalition came up with a variety show which has some good entertainment.”

New York jazz guitarist Hiro, formal name Hironobu Saito, was among the lineup.

Following his graduation from O-Tani University in Kyoto, Japan, he won a talent scholarship and entered the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass., in 1999.

Since then, Saito has risen in the music arena, taking second place in the Gibson Jazz Guitar Competition in 2003 and appearing in periodicals such as Swing Journal, Jazz Life and Jazz Guitar Book.

He started the Hiro Jazz Tour around the U.S.A., Japan, Europe and Hawai‘i in 2004. Following his appearance at the Monterey Jazz Festival in California as part of the Hironobu Saito Quartet in 2009, he created his fourth album, “Reflection,” with Milton Fletcher on keyboard, Harish Raghavan on bass, Yasushi Nakamura on bass, Eric Harland, Gretcehn Parlato, Carolyn Perteef, Machiko Ozawa on violin, Keita Ogawa on percussion, Jon De Lucia on shakuhachi and Takaya Nagase as co-producer in 2010.

Also on hand were students from the FIRST Robotics program who readily recruited “drivers” with their robotic escort chattering down the mall. The Kaua‘i Police Department came out with its free Keiki ID program in collaboration with Senter Petroleum and the Philippine Island Hawai‘i Island bicycling group hosting a fundraiser for victims of the March earthquake and tsunami.

Kaohelauli‘i said the Garden Island Martial Arts Weigh In is from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Kukui Grove Exhibition Area for the big martial arts event on Saturday.

The mall will also host KIFB for its Summer Food and Fund Drive from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, one of eight designated KIFB collection sites between Hanalei and Waimea.

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.

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