A queen in Koloa

KOLOA — Stephanie Steuri, Miss Hawaii 2014, could not miss the parade.

After all, it marked her first Koloa Plantation Day Parade on her home island since being crowned Miss Hawaii in June.

“She’s supposed to be in Florida, but is coming home on the first flight to be in the historic parade,” said Edwin Vea, who decorated the vehicle Steuri and her family were ushered down as thousand of people lined the main streets of Koloa town Saturday. “Then, she gets on a flight out to catch up with her Florida engagement.”

Linda Viado of the Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club, said she remembered Stephanie as a young girl, and Chris and Charlene Steuri, Stephanie’s parents. Charlene was a Miss Maui titleholder and a runner up for the Miss Hawaii pageant, herself.

The Waiohai unit, anchored by Viado’s hula performance in the shadow of a giant ipu heke and flanked by island princesses, earned Overall honors as well as Top Float in the parade judging of more than 60 entries.

Waiohai was followed by the Koloa Rum Company.

Uncle James Kimo Burgess, and her son, Keolu Burgess, filled the seats of the parade’s grand marshalls in the absence of his wife, the late Aunty Stella Burgess, who would normally be tooling through the parade in her golf cart. Others took part in the parade in whatever vehicle they could.

“I’m driving the vegetable truck,” said Darryl Gerardo, whose wife Shelley works for the Kukuiula Development Co. “It’s not a very big one, but it looks like the kind that used to drive through the neighborhoods.”

The truck ended up taking top honors in the Decorated Vehicle contest.

Topaz Fernandez,  as Miss Garden Isle, with her sisters driving and her grandpa Baco at her side, took runner up honors in the vehicle sponsored by the Koa Kea hotel. The Kauai All Girls Rodeo Association topped the Mounted Unit judging followed by the Kauai Pau Hololio, a private mounted unit created and directed by Kamuela Thronas and the Thronas ohana of Kapaa and Lihue.

Malama Mahaulepu topped the Walking Unit judging followed by the Rotary Club of Poipu. Following the afternoon of entertainment, food, and crafters in the Anne Knudsen Park, the 11-day Koloa Town Celebration comes to a close with four events today.

The Kukuiula Canoe Club hosts the Family Fun Run starting at 7 this morning at the Poipu Beach Park followed the Lawai Beach Resort’s re-scheduled mini golf tournament at 10 a.m.

Keoki’s Paradise hosts its Ukes in Paradise with registration starting at 10:30 a.m. The Koloa Plantation Days wraps up with Tea and Talk Story at the Plantation Garden Restaurant, hosted by Women in Theater starting at 4 p.m., featuring David Penhallow Scott talking about the sugar plantation society before, during, and after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

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