WAIMEA — Several thousand people jammed Kaumualii Highway through Waimea town Saturday for the annual Waimea Lighted Parade.
All the floats were deemed winners, while winners of the Christmas Street-Front Decorations contest were announced by the Zumba Elves, who hosted the parade banner ahead of Grand Marshall Rep. Dee Morikawa and wound people up with rounds of Zumba.
The annual contest, presented by the West Kauai Business and Professional Association, kicks off with the Lighting Up of Waimea Town, which took place this year right after Thanksgiving.
Members of the Rotary Club of West Kauai distributed books to young children in the sea of spectators that filled Waimea from end to end.
“They had a lot of books for the Waimea Public Library used book sale,” said Rotarian David Walker. “They couldn’t get ride of all of them, so we ordered a hundred to pass out to children. And we didn’t forget the candy, either.”
Ishihara Market, which glimmered through a throng of people, was voted Most Brilliant over Ultimate Nails and Namahana Catering, which offered King Kaumuali‘i wear and gifts n addition to plate lunches.
Waimea Theater Building, including the Sea Shell Diamond and Gina’s Restaurant, was named Most Traditional over the Masaki Market and Fah Inn buildings.
The Ako Store Building, housing a restaurant full of diners getting street-side viewing of the lighting extravaganza at Wrangler’s, topped the Best Themed judging, almost directly across the street from the Waimea fire station which was voted Biggest and Brightest over the Wil Miyake Building and Hofgaard Park decorated by the WKBPA.
The Shrimp Station earned runner-up honors in the Best Themed voting followed by the Waimea Educational Center: Waimea United Church of Christ.
Mailani’s topped the Most Creative judging for its alcove in the building’s recessed entry. The neighboring ‘Ohana Ni‘ihau O Waimea Church got runner-up honors, while Beauty to Go with Jo was in third place.
The Yamase Building, housing One Trust Loan, Subway and Makai Properties, earned top honors for Best Architectural followed by the Hee Building and Big Save/Times Supermarket, whose manager, Gwen Batara, was among the throng of WKBPA people distributing refreshments to parade participants.
The Waimea Plantation Cottages topped the Most Beautiful judging followed by West Inn and the Hong Min Hee Building, home of the recently opened Cafe Lure, and Aunty Lilikoi.
Kauai Community Federal Credit Union, Waimea Branch, earned Best Daytime honors followed by Super Duper II ice cream parlor and Shenelle and Haircuts.