LIHUE — Joe and Tina Brun came to Lihue from Koloa Saturday.
“It’s a beautiful day for a parade,” Joe said. “Besides, our granddaughter is one of the beauty queens so we came to watch.”
The Bruns were just a small part of the hundreds of people who lined Hoolako and Rice streets for the annual King Kamehameha Day parade, hosted this year by the Malie Foundation with help from the County of Kauai and other community-minded organizations.
“We heard there was a parade, so we had to come,” said Yvonne Engle of Washington, who parked her family in the cool shade along Rice Street. “A parade is something nice to see.”
King Russ Michael Kealii Mahuiki-Cummings, hailing from the Koolau Moku, portrayed King Kamehameha, his gentle demeanor serving as a link between kupuna and the new generations of Hawaiians, the parade narrators explained.
Annie K. Kelly Kanahele, a multi-talented woman respected for her art of creating Niihau shell lei, served as the grand marshall, flanked by her daughter Hiipoi, and her granddaughter, also named Hiipoi.
“We have three generations here today,” said the second-generation Hiipoi as the decorated vehicle made its way onto Rice Street from the stadium staging area.
Elena Valleriy of Lihue was enjoying the tribute from one of the small pockets of shade along a warm Rice Street.
“We’re so lucky to be here,” Valleriy said. “We just can walk down to enjoy it.”
Melissa Leilani Ornellas, affectionately known as Moosu, served as the Pau Queen. The founder of the Kauai All Girl Rodeo Association was flanked by active KAGRA riders, and KAGRA fielded its own unit, combining with the strength of the roving pau marshals who dedicated their service to the memory of Adam Brun Jr.
“We could never replace him,” the parade narrator said. “In his stead, friends and family that have participated with him over the years as part of the many parades on this island would like to stand in for him to remind us all of how many lives he has touched.”
The parade overflowed for a short protocol of hookupu from each of the representative pau units. The audience spilled into the craft tents and indulged in local food offerings and entertainment in the shade as a respite from the warm sunshine.