LIHUE — “My eyes are shot because I stayed up all night,” said Missy Foley, Tuesday morning at the Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club. “My hands are all bus’ up because I entered five lei into the 37th annual Irmalee & Walter Pomroy Lei Contest.”
Presented by the Kauai Museum, doors opened to a throng of people anxious to see the extravaganza of color and fragrance on display at the Puna Court area of the Kauai Marriott Resort.
Patrons were able to bid on their favorite via a silent auction system with pick up of the winning lei done before doors closed to the day-long event.
Other guests, like the residents from the Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital, make a tradition of viewing the lei entries similar to people enjoying cherry blossom viewing.
“This was really hard,” said Noelani Pomroy. “The weather caused a lot of the plumeria to fall so there are not a lot of flowers to work with. Remember when May Day was the fragrance of plumeria?”
Instead, lei makers like Emma Chidgey turned to alternate blossoms in their creations.
“There are some pockets in Princeville where the agapanthus, or blue lily, are starting to come in,” Chidgey said. “And then, there is whatever you can find.”
Chidgey finished with a first place in the White & Green category awards.
Foley, who created several lei for the recent Royal Order of Kamehameha Prince Kuhio tribute, finished with a first place and third place in the Lanakila Hou, or new lei maker, category.
Lola Bukoski was a big winner, taking two of the specialty awards, and placing second in the Pink & Red category awards.
Tommy Vidinha also finished with two of the specialty awards along with Jodi Gardner who ended with an additional third place honor in the Plumeria category.
Machael Koerte was a big winner in the category awards, picking up five awards in three categories, including a first and second place in the popular Hat lei category.
May Day is Lei Day was started in 1928. It was recognized by the state legislature in 1929 and has been celebrated ever since.
Specialty Awards: Distinguished President’s Award – Lola Bukoski, Prestigious Board of Trustees Award – Elvrine Chow, Director’s Choice Award – Jodi Gardnery, Kauai Museum 58th Anniversary Award – Kanani Kahalekono Rosano, County of Kauai Office of the Mayor Award – Lola Bukoski, Kauai Marriott Resort Award – Tommy Vidinha, Irmalee Pomroy Award – Pat Finnberg, Walter Pomroy Award – Jodi Gardner, Grace & Lyle Guslander Award – Tommy Vidinha, Kauai Beach Resort Award – Kauai Iki, Marriott Waiohai Beach Club Award – Owana Bothelo, Hobey Goodale Award – Jennifer Pomroy.
• Blue & Purple: Jan Masukawa, Linda Pitman, Jan Masukawa
• White & Green: Emma Chidgey, Michael Koerte, Elvrine Chow
• Orange & Yellow: Kauai Iki, Michael Koerte, Michael Koerte
• Pink & Red: Kauai Iki, Lola Bukoski, Elvrine Chow
• Mixed Colors: Elvrine Chow, Kaleikamakahala Cadawas, Michael Koerte
• Plumeria: Kauai Iki, Kaulana Kahalekomo, Jodi Gardner
• Ti-Leaf: Lupe Silva, Kauai Iki, Marina Pascua
• Hat: Michael Koerte, Michael Koerte, Kaohu Ranis
• Lanakila Hou (new winner): Missy Foley, Hikina Chock, Missy Foley
••• Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.