WAIMEA — Waimea Canyon will have to wait for another day, said Mae Artida, visiting from California.
“We were going to the canyon, but saw all the chairs and thought, ‘There’s going to be a parade,’” Artida said Saturday. “The canyon is just too far. We’re parking here to watch the parade.”
Artida was among several thousand people who planted themselves along Kaumualii Highway to view the annual Waimea Lighted Parade, hosted by the West Kauai Professional and Business Association and a group of community supporters.
The parade featured nearly 40 units and hundreds of walkers. In addition to the lighted floats, many storefronts and residences were decorated.
That effort was launched earlier in the month with the “Turning on the Lights in Waimea” event at Hofgaard Park.
“People are still turning on lights,” said Aletha Kaohi, the parade’s grand marshall.
“Voting was done Thursday, and people are still putting up new displays.”
The Shrimp Station was the grand prize winner of the street lighting decorating contest. Festooned in bright blue lights, the Shrimp Station is located almost directly across the street from the Waimea Baptist Church, which was voted tops in the Most Traditional category. That was followed by Mailani Bakery and the Waimea Fire Station, which featured a free-hand illuminated Christmas greeting across its main bay doors.
Gina’s at Yumi’s Restaurant topped the Most Creative judging, followed by Pay Day Loans and the attractive displays at Waimea High School, whose band and Junior ROTC units hosted the color guard, saber and drill units and a marching unit in the parade.
Second Hand Rose received the top votes in the Most Brilliant judging, followed by Namahana and In Waimea.
Waimea Plantation Cottages topped the Most Beautiful category followed by Ultimate Nails and Leido.
Ishihara Market, filling the day with music and the aromatic atmosphere of grilling steak and chicken, topped the Biggest and Brightest voting.
Ishihara Market is located across the street from C.B. Hofgaard Park, which was a close second place. Wrangler’s Restaurant, whose veranda seating was “reserved” by veteran parade spectators, rounded out the streetfront lighting.