LIHUE — Many hands brought the Kamehameha Day parade back to its full splendor Saturday in Lihue town.
Nathan Kalama of the Malie Foundation said four partnerships, Na Hui O Kamakaokalani, the Aqua Kauai Beach Resort, the Malie Foundation and Hui Makaainana O Makana teamed together to present the aloalii, or Royal Court, to the public.
“This is how it’s supposed to be,” said Marlo Louis-Medeiros, who was watching the parade with her family from near the Palae Street intersection. “We used to spend days working on units and costumes for the parade. But it slowly got to where it was a princess here, and a princess there and the parade was over.”
Stella Burgess, the coordinator of Hawaiiana at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa, said it was a collective effort, the Hyatt staff pooling resources to ensure the costuming and regalia was in order. The Grand Hyatt Kauai sponsored the Lanai Pau unit.
“In the days past, we spent weeks ahead of the parade just making sure everything was in order,” Burgess said. “This is a significant cultural event and protocol, including regalia, is very important.”
She said they contacted the paddling clubs about the event, but unfortunately, the paddling calendar was already set up, preventing the outrigger paddling clubs from participating.
The regatta being held on the North Shore took its toll on the Kapaa Middle School Choir and Ukulele Band.
“We have a lot of kids paddling out there,” said Mary Lardizabal, director of the choir and band. “They said they’ll come later, but the parade is now. We’ll make do with whoever we have who showed up.”
Hundreds of people lined the parade route from Hoolako Road to the lawn of the historic County Building, the parade committee establishing three audio stations along the route to inform people of the proceedings and its significance.
“This is our community,” said Dennis Neves, the general manager of the Lihue Airport. “We need to be here. Everyone has been to the airport and we are part of the community.”
Neves was joined by the Lihue Airport ohana, centering around the Striker, a crash fire and rescue unit, which was decorated for the occasion.
“This is way better than the last parade,” said Annette Hashimoto, a vendor at the craft fair set up at the historic County Building. “There are a lot more people and everyone is having fun. The food is good and people are happy. Last year, everyone was packing up by 1 p.m.”
Louis Kauanoehii o kaliko o Kahalaopuna Kelii Hoomanawanui Jr. served as the king of the Kamehameha Day festivities, his aloalii being served by Thomas Lindsey Sr. as Kalaimoku, Lopaka Nakaahiki Bukoski as Kahuna Nui, Makalii Bukoski as Puloulou, Aaron Salvador and Atta Vinhaca serving as Kahili Mamo, Thomas Lindsey III and Emsley Drake as Kahili Ulaula, Shawn Mersberg, Ronald Rivera, Holden Prem, Keala Prem serving as Ihe and Punohu and Pohaku Kekaulua serving as Pu Kane.
Sam Mahuiki of Haena was honored as the 2013 Grand Marshall, Norman Hookano and the Hookano Ohana honored as the Pau Marshall.
Nalani Palama-Soares, with Brian Andrade as her page, husband Randal, son Kamuela Palama-Souza, and daughters Leina Palama-Souza and Wailana Blackstad, and son-in-law Kyle Blackstad serving as her escorts. Joining her unit, Kimo and Karen Akita and Corey and Elise Silva, ranching partners, rounded out the unit.
• Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.