Saturday, May 21, 2022 |
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LIHU‘E — For more than an hour, the dazzle of lights and blasts from sound systems overshadowed the buzzing of the coconut wireless, Friday, in Lihu‘e.
The annual Lights on Rice parade, coordinated through the efforts of The Rotary Club of Kaua‘i, welcomed in the night with its dazzling lights and sounds of the holidays, eliciting whoops of delight from the thousands of people lining Rice Street from the entrance of Vidinha Stadium to the lawn of the Historic County Building.
The daytime gloom enhanced with its clouds, wind and bouts of passing showers was deepened as the coconut wireless clicked with bits and pieces of the tragic stabbing and shooting in Waimea.
“We didn’t know about it until about 3:30 p.m. when we got a phone call telling us one of our walkers couldn’t make it because she was a neighbor of the lady who died,” said a person participating in the parade with a float.
Throughout the day, the questions of “Who dunnit?” and “What happened?” wafted over the Kaua‘i Museum craft fair which started the day offering a variety of crafts, food and entertainment. The question seemed to linger over booths where Westside vendors were located.
Jane Gray, director of the Kaua‘i Museum, said one of the new facets of this year’s Christmas craft fair was the return of the once-popular wreath-making contest, several of which were available for bidding along with items in the silent auction.
“I gave them about five or six (wreaths),” said Nancy Fuller, volunteering at the West Kaua‘i Methodist booth. “I just like to make them, but now, I really miss my husband because he used to be the ‘go-fer.’ Now, I have to go and pick all the koa and other things which sometimes are too high on the tree.”
Former Mayor Maryanne Kusaka was among the bidders, noting among her bids were wreaths created by Fuller.
The Festival of Lights lighting ceremony set the stage for the parade. Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. and Kaua‘i County Council Chair Jay Furfaro joined the Kaua‘i Chorale and Santa and Mrs. Claus in throwing the switch illuminating the lawn of the Historic County Building as the body of the parade poked its head up Rice Street.
“I really need to be in the parade,” said Mary Lardizabal, director of the Kapa‘a Middle School Choir and ‘Ukulele Band, as she and her family watched the colorful, festive parade of lights and music. “Last year, we were in it. I’m here watching it, but it’s just not the same. We need to be in it.”
People are able to enjoy the lighting displays on the lawn of the Historic County Building starting at 6 p.m. nightly, and the inside of the building with his collection of Christmas Folk Art inspired by the late Josie Chansky on weekends from 6 to 9 p.m. through Christmas.
The West Kaua‘i Business and Professional Association will host its annual Christmas Lighted Parade at 6 p.m., Dec. 17.
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