Hundreds enjoy King Kamehameha Celebration

LIHU‘E — Hundreds of people lined Rice Street Saturday to enjoy the King Kamehameha Celebration parade which returned to Kaua‘i.

There was no parade last year, but George Thronas, the chair of this year’s event, was determined to bring it back, his mother said.

Kahanu Smith, a commissioner with the King Kamehameha Celebration Commission from 2002 to 2009, reigned as the 2011 Mo‘i Kane, heading up the parade with his entourage.

Kaua‘i Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. brought out county employees and department heads, some of whom took on the responsibility of carrying the county’s banner.

The parade started at Vidinha Stadium, ending at Eiwa Street and the lawn of the Historic County Building.

The Pa‘u Marshall and Pa‘u Queen were a husband-and-wife duo this year. Samuel Wong reigned as Pa‘u Marshall and Linda Ann Lindsey-Wong was Pa‘u Queen. She held an akulikuli lei, once found in abundance around the island.

Pa‘u princesses representing the different Hawaiian Islands included Joelle Alohalani Tafoya with her page Russel Miranda wearing the purple of Kaua‘i.

Kyle and Wailana Blackstad represented O‘ahu and Bongo Lee wore the green of Moloka‘i. Corey Silva and Elise Parraga-Silva represented Kaho‘olawe, Elise regally adorned in blue with the hinahina kahakai contrasting smartly with her outfit.

Frank Nadarissay Jr. and Lisa Kam Lin Wong represented Lana‘i, dressed in the regal orange of the island once known for its pineapples.

Patrick Kelekoma Jr. did page duties for Lori Kam Sung Wong, the pa‘u princess representing Ni‘ihau.

Kristyn Vasconcelles of Lawa‘i got help from Kaleo Kaui in representing the island of Maui and Randall Soares and Nalani Palama-Soares did the honors for the Big Island.

In addition to the traditional royalty, the parade was graced with the participation of the Aha Hui Ha‘ahumanu-Chapter 6, Lihu‘e, led by its third president, Julie Souza, after being organized in 1917.

The Hale O Na Ali‘i, Halau O Kapiolani, organized on Kaua‘i in 1921 by Princess Kawanakakoa, was represented in the parade, paying special tribute to Elizabeth “Kapeka” Azeka, one of its kupuna.

Following the parade, people enjoyed the special protocol ceremony where ho‘okupu was presented to the Mo‘i Kane and court followed by a day of entertainment, food and shopping through the variety of crafters at the ho‘olaule‘a.

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

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