KEKAHA — Aloha ambassador Dawn O’Brien, of the Big Island, described the Friday event as “Kekaha Kalikimaka” when hundreds of people of all ages gathered at Kekaha Neighborhood Center for a celebration of the season.
The Kekaha Elementary School relocated its annual Christmas program to the more expansive area of the Kekaha Neighborhood Center to present its programming, which included special numbers from grades 3 through 5. The program was moderated by grade 5 students Hapuna Aranio and Kiele Bustillos, who got help from O’Brien when their class took the stage.
“This is a lot of kids,” said Alden Pablo, of the Hanapepe Pop Warner Association, which coordinated Kaua‘i’s Biggest Little Carnival a few months ago at Hanapepe Stadium. “I’m so glad the kids came out to enjoy this.”
The Kekaha School programming was only a precursor for a free concert that featured bands like High Watah, Kapena and “the original” Ho‘Aikane to round out the evening the night before the Waimea twilight Christmas parade through town.
Enhancing the “Choose Love Live Aloha” free community event, local organizations offered a variety of foods for snacking, or an early Friday dinner, a tent filled with vendors, and the porch area of the neighborhood center set up as a Keiki Winter Wonderland featuring photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus. There was also a new Kaua‘i Fire Department Preventions Bureau inflatable house.
“This is our fourth event where the Kekaha Landfill, and the ‘We Are Kekaha’ programs have teamed together to bring our community, together,” said John Ruiz of the Kekaha Landfill. “It’s wonderful that everyone can come together and have fun during the season.”
Ruiz said in order to make everything work, their people got a lot of support, even from off-island.
Those partners included Wally Rita, the Kekaha Host Community Benefits Citizens Advisory Council, Aloha Kaua‘i Rentals, Geosyntec, The Tow Truck, Douglas and Gabrielle Stuarte, Wa‘alani Construction, Aloha Pacific Federal Credit Union, Hawthorne, Brian Carter, French Girls Puka Dog, Captain Andy’s, Pacific Concrete Coring and Cutting, Goodfellows and ‘Ohana Motors.
Partners also included Na Pali Experience, Kama‘aina Kids, Kaua‘i Rock & Concrete, Kuhio Motors Auto Group, ITC Water Management, MCS Grill, Global Ag. Aqua Engineers, Earthworks, Garden Isle Disposal, Jeannie Miyamoto ‘ohana, Cushnie Construction, Kepa Services, Civil Environmental, GP Roadway Solutions, Garden Isle Portable Toilets, Inc., Reid Samio Table Rentals, Solid Waste Division, Blue Ocean Adventures, Kaua‘i Fire Department, Kaua‘i Police Department, Therilynn Haumea, Yvonne Hosaka, Darlene Muraoka and the “We are Kekaha” Kekaha Elementary School PTSA.
Source: The Garden Island