Nemo reigns at Wilcox parade

LIHUE — Lisa Ka‘auwai got her idea of Nemo in an aquarium after seeing a similar set up on the Internet.

The sight sparked her drive to create the aquarium scene with Quinn, 9 months old, as the central Nemo character surrounded by teddy bears and other plush sea creatures, Friday for the 10th annual Wilcox Health Halloween Babies Parade.

“It was a lot of work,” Lisa said. “We had to paint everything and try to figure out what we could use to create the scene.”

The effort paid off as Lisa, Kalei and Quinn Ka‘auwai were judged first place in the parade that was limited to babies born at Wilcox Medical Center, four years and younger.

“It takes a lot of time to plan these things out,” said Anna Yu, last year’s top winner. “We spent about two weeks trying to piece everything together. Last year, Ellie was the sushi chef. This year, since her name is Ellie, she was an ‘Ellie-phant.’”

Several hundred toddlers and their parents, and sometimes neighbors and grandparents strolled past tables filled with Wilcox Medical Center staff decorated and garbed for the occasion, their tables filled with Halloween goodies to distribute as the parade passed them.

“I just came from visiting the physical therapists,” said Jill Dobashi. “Now, I’m re-living my childhood.”

The PT crew was transformed into jellyfish, who hovered over the aquariumed Nemo.

Following the Ka‘auwai family, Natalie Ong and Rylie Contrades, 1, earned second-place honors as a pineapple and strawberry, and the Dagel ‘ohana of Teloa, Kathy and Candie earned third place as Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

“This is so awesome,” said William Valente Gonsalves, a volunteer helping at Garden Isle Healthcare. “I used to bring my cousins to this parade, and it is a good feeling to see all of these young children and their parents dressed up and having a good time.”

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