KEKAHA — Hundreds of people took advantage of clear, warm weather and ample parking, as the E Ola Mau Na Leo O Kekaha presented Family Fun Day to celebrate Fourth of July on Tuesday at Kekaha Neighborhood Center.
“Every house in Kekaha got at least $10 in food vouchers,” said Dennis Eguchi of E Ola Mau. “Nothing in the food booth area is priced more than $10. We just want people to be able to enjoy a meal.”
Unhindered by the distraction of alcohol, Kekaha Neighborhood Center was set up with crafts, the meal voucher pick up area, and the traditionally popular historic artifacts from the plantation era presented by Larry Manuel who, this year, got a visit from another keeper of artifacts, Pat “Skippah” Caycayon of Koloa.
“How about some cold watermelon?” Garrett Agena, another of the E Ola Mau people asked. “Aloun Farms donated all this watermelon that’s being stored in the refrigerated Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i truck.”
The popular Play Streets program was set up on Elepaio Road and drew crowds from the people taking in lessons on pickleball and basketball.
“Play Streets is coming to the Back to School Bash on July 15,” said Melissa McFerrin Warrack of Kukui Grove Center. “They’re not bringing everything because they have a manpower shortage. But they’re looking to see which two, or three items they can bring to the keiki play area at the Kukui Grove Center during Back to School Bash.”
A County of Kaua‘i employee said Play Streets is also going to reappear during an upcoming block party in Lihu‘e.
The fishing group from Kikiaola provided a station where fishers could test their skills by catching fish for prizes. This is a new station that joins the throw net station. The fishing group also provided prizes for the new Fishing from the Septar boat that drew some serious attention from young fishers anxious to see what kind of fish lurked inside the Septar vessel.
“The captain from the Pacific Missile Range Facility really wanted to participate,” Eguchi said. “But he didn’t even know what ‘Fish Pond’ was. Now he has another use for the Septar boats.”
Food offerings included a bunch of fundraising efforts as well as uniquely westside food, all limited by the $10 ceiling.
“This is good they gave out the vouchers,” said Toni Torres, a member of the West Kaua‘i Methodist Church. “It gets the people spending money because people always want more than what they planned on.”
The only thing missing from this year’s celebration, the first big one following the pandemic, was the fireworks. The event leaders agreed that the fireworks cost money that could be better spent helping the community with some of its problems.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 808-245-0453 or email@example.com.
Source: The Garden Island