Waimea Lighted Christmas Parade gets drenched

WAIMEA — Hua Duncan, a longtime announcer for the Waimea Lighted Christmas Parade, said it never rains on the annual parade.

But it did this year.

Rain drenched several hundred spectators and the convoy of floats and marchers Saturday during the lighted parade that traditionally falls on the Saturday before Christmas, hosted by the West Kauai Professional and Business Association.

“This must be the 100-year Waimea Parade rain,” Duncan said. “It usually never rains on this parade.”

Spectators tended to believe Duncan’s words and lined the sidewalks on Kaumualii Highway in anticipation of the bevy of lighted vehicles and scores of walkers bedecked in holiday finery.

“We’ve been coming to this parade for several years,” said Gen Howe of Issaquah, Washington. “Usually, we hang out in front of the Hawaiian Church because the parishioners are all seated in front and we enjoy talking with them.”

The rain didn’t bother Kailee Gorospe and her friends from Kapaa who made a game of dodging raindrops. “We were at the softball clinic in Hanapepe,” Gorospe said. “We just came because the parade starts after the clinic is over.”

The precipitation took its toll on several generator- powered illuminated displays. It did not, however, win against the Street Front Decoration awards which were announced from an earlier judging.

“We just completed this year’s judging under the full moon,” said one of the judges. “The fire department really shines this year.”

Most of the Street Front Decorations will remain on through the end of the month.

JUDGING RESULTS: The Waimea Fire Station was awarded tops in the Biggest and Brightest Decorations category, being followed by the Waimea Plantation Cottages and the Mane Event, whose owners set up a nice food booth outside their shop.

The Shrimp Station, partially obscured by Quick Tents providing shelter from the rain, topped the Best Themed Decorations judging, followed by the Waimea Shell Station and Kikiaola Land Co.

Waimea Shell Station set the stage for a string of buildings, including Wranglers Steakhouse and Saddle Room, which earned Most Traditional Decorations honor, challenged by the Waimea Hawaiian Church. The Yamase Building, home of Subway Sandwich, finished third.

Ultimate Nails topped the Most Brilliant Decorations, judging followed by Ishihara Market, and the West Inn located across the highway from Gina’s in the Waimea Theatre finished second in Best Daytime Decorations.

The Kauai Community Federal Credit Union, Waimea Branch, topped the Best Daytime Decorations judging, with Super Duper II getting third place.

Waimea Baptist Church earned Best Religious Theme honors followed by Aunty Lilikoi’s.

Spice of Life glistened with lights next to the Waimea Fire Station, earning tops in Most Creative Decorations, followed by Island Tacos and Namahan, where a healthy portion of poi stew was being served up by the Galen Kaohi ohana.

Mailani Bakery topped the Most Beautiful Decorations judging, followed by Da No Booze Shop and Rose’s Sea Shells Diamond Gallery.

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