Popping up for Halloween

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Patrick and Liane Rhodes of California take a break from Facetime shopping at Wahine Toa, a popup that opened Friday at Kukui Grove Center in Lihu‘e.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Kate Nawahine inks the contract for the Wahine Toa popup that opened Friday at Kukui Grove Center in Lihu‘e.

LIHU‘E — Patrick Rhodes of California raised his smartphone and waved it above his head a couple of times on Friday at Kukui Grove Center fronting the ParTea shop.

“This is for my wife who’s Facetime shopping in Wahine Toa,” Rhodes said. “She’s dances hula at home, and when we found out Wahine Toa was coming, she had to connect with her friend, and now they’re doing Facetime shopping, but we only have one dot (of mobile service). Oh, one picture went through. How many more? Oh, she’s still inside.”

The Wahine Toa popup that will close at the end of today is just one of the start of the Halloween-themed festivities at KGC, attracting families enjoying the final weekend of fall break and doing last-minute shopping before students return to school Monday.

“I hope they’re not from Honolulu,” said a teaching helper from Na Hula O Kaohikukapulani studio located a few doors down from the popup. “My husband said I couldn’t get anything because we’re going to Honolulu this weekend.”

Wahine Toa is from Hawai‘i Island.

“I’m from Hilo (on Hawai‘i Island),” said Kate Nawahine, who stepped outside the shop filled with shoppers to sign her rental contract. “My mother-in-law designs the fashion, and she’s from Kona. This is the first time we’re appearing at Kukui Grove, and I love how supportive the people are. Actually, we love Kaua‘i.”

The popup, located adjacent to Small Fry, will be open when Tiffany Dick and the Aloha Dance Studio kick off Freaky Friday with a series of family activities, a selfie station and outdoor dancing with the Mini Monsters and the Zombies.

Freaky Fridays also presents the perfect backdrop for the KGC virtual costume contest, where prizes will be awarded weekly.

Wahine Toa will have its doors open today when the center hosts the Showtime Characters and their offering of crafts for keiki, and when the Dog Fanciers of Kaua‘i host their popular Pet Parade and Costume Contest starting at 2 p.m.

The Countdown to Halloween continues at KGC for the next two weekends so people can enjoy the season while being socially responsible in consideration of the COVID-19 virus. Face masks must be worn indoors and outdoors, unless eating or drinking, and social distancing of at least 6 feet is the norm.


Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.


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