Sanpei sweeps Paniolo Hat Lei contest in Waimea

WAIMEA — Brandi Sanpei captured the grand prize for third- to fifth-grades in the Beautiful category for the Paniolo Hat Lei contest Saturday at the West Kauai Visitor Center.

But she did not stop there. Sanpei was also the first through third prize winner in that category and also won the Unique division for the third- to fifth-grade group, for a total of seven awards.

The annual Paniolo Hat Lei Contest was part of the weeklong Waimea Town Celebration. It was moved to Saturday due to space limitations at the relocated West Kauai Visitor Center. Previously, the contest was held on Fridays.

Uriah Vea was the grand prize winner of the kindergarten through second-grade division in the Beautiful category.

She also took the third place honor below Halia Albarado, who captured first and second places in that age group.

James Kahale got both the grand prize and first place in the ninth- through twelfth-grades age group where Niriyanne Santiago secured second place and Kustom Vea Wise was the third place winner.

Linda Pitman topped the adult division of the Beautiful category by earning the grand prize, with Mahana capturing first and second place honors. Emma Chidgey rounded out the Beautiful category with third place.

Keola Kahalekomo topped the kindergarten through second-grade age group in the Unique category as the grand prize winner.

May Henry won first place, while Sienna Kanahele and Keiki Kanahele earned second and third places, respectively, in the kindergarten through second-grade age group.

Maikoa Baniaga took first place in the sixth- through eighth-grades category followed by Layla Gray in second place and Piikea Sahut in third place.

Kustom Vea Wise topped the first two spots in the ninth- through twelfth-grades division with Niriyanne Santiago getting the third place in the Unique category.

Gary Fujioka earned first place for the adult division with Romula Tumbaga settling in second place and Carlina Vea being announced as the third place winner.

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