Carnival attracts ever-growing crowds

KEKAHA — Food, games and live entertainment are on tap at this year’s St. Theresa School Carnival on Kaua‘i’s Westside. The carnival runs from 6 to 11 p.m. today and Saturday.

On the menu will be kiawe chicken, kalua pork, flying saucers, hot dogs, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, saimin, chili and more, said Dino Pabre, chair of the carnival.

We’re so busy getting ready, I canceled basketball practice for this week,” said Pabre, a basketball coach with the Westside Basketball program.

Pabre and a group of volunteers were busy moving stored items into location at specified sites around the Kekaha school campus situated right along the main highway.

“We get tourists stopping by when they see the activity and smell the food,” Pabre said. “This is the school’s biggest fundraiser of the year and helps take care of the operating expenses.”

Volunteers and community support have been key to keeping the school going for the past 66 years, Pabre said. A lot of the items for the silent auction, food booth, country store and Repeat Boutique come from people in the community, Pabre said.

“During the Cake Walk, which is one of our more popular attractions, people play musical chairs for desserts which include cakes, cookies, and other baked goods as prizes,” Pabre said. “Kids love it because they’re not playing for candy. This is dessert. A whole cake.”

To accommodate the growing crowds at the free, annual Westside festival, Pabre said a mower-equipped crane was taking down the overgrowth in the neighboring lot so additional parking can be available for carnival-goers.

Another aspect is the family atmosphere for the two-day event.

“This is an alcohol-free and drug-free event,” Pabre said. “It’s for the whole family.”

The entertainment lineup starts off with performances by the St. Theresa School students singing, playing instruments and dancing tonight. Familiar Sounds, Three of Us, and Wally Rita and his kachi-kachi music round out the offering.

Saturday’s lineup includes a Filipino dance group opening followed by E Kolu Kai, the Greenstone Project and the Roots Foundation, Pabre said.

For the younger set, a teen dance will be hosted in the school’s cafeteria from 7 to 10 p.m. today and Saturday.

Call 337-1351 for more information.

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

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