Summer program offers keiki special treats

LIHU‘E — Normally, the Grove Farm museum fires up its historic steam locomotives on the second Thursday of the month, designated Train Days.

But Wednesday, Wainiha came to life with a special load of passengers, said Scott Johnson, the Grove Farm museum engineer for its fleet of steam locomotives.

“I was trying to get more train cars down here for the county’s Summer Enrichment Program tour,” Johnson said. “But we just didn’t make it. I guess we’ll have it here for the next group.”

More than 170 students enrolled in the Kapa‘a and King Kaumuali‘i sites turned out for the historic train tour through the active banana and ti farm operated by the third generation of the Sasan family, Johnson said.

The program is part of the program’s Kauaiana theme, said Aaron Uyeda, the Parks and Recreation Department East Complex coordinator, during the 40th anniversary celebration of the Kilauea Senior Center.

Uyeda said as part of the program exposing students to different aspects of Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i, the department is thinking about moving the annual end-of-program day at Lydgate Park to the Waimea Canyon Middle School where a Hawaiian lo‘i, or Hawaiian martial arts, group will host the keiki to a day of Hawaiian games rooted in ancient Hawai‘i.

Cindy Duterte, the Parks and Recreation Department executive on recreation, said in addition to the Hawaiian games, there are plans to also have the students visit the historic Waimea Theater to complete the day.

“There are a lot of children in the program who have never been to the Waimea Theater,” she said. “This way, they are exposed to this historic part of Kaua‘i.”

Johnson said arrangements are for the Summer Enrichment Program kids to visit the train next Wednesday, July 11 and July 18.

He noted they will be switching locomotives after this month.

“This month is Wainiha, and next month is Paulo with July 28 being the Koloa Plantation Days Parade,” Johnson said.

Wainiha, originally owned by McBryde Plantation, was build by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia and was originally oil-fueled. It is now fueled by recycled wood.

Wainiha could pull up to 55 cars of sugar cane and was sold to Lihu‘e Plantation in 1932. Grove Farm Co. bought the locomotive in 1955 and it was in use until 1957, making Grove Farm Plantation the last to haul cane by steam, states the Grove Farm website.

Visit www.grovefarm.net for information on the trains or call 245-3202.

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