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Pride celebration brightens Rice Street

Mele and Moana Hurley made their Kaua‘i Pride Parade shirts especially because they knew they would be watching the parade Saturday, said the pair’s mother.

“We used some fabric paint, and they cut and tied the ends to create the Pride shirt,” the girls’ mother said. “They have a relative who’s participating in the parade with the Deja Vu Surf Hawai‘i group.”

The Hurley family, including son Lion who did not decorate as elaborately as his sisters, were among the throngs of people who lined Rice Street, mostly around the ‘Umi to ‘Elua streets block, and on the shady side of the street, to watch the Pride Parade that opened the month of June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer + Pride Month

Celebrating its 100th anniversary of helping women, children and families on the island build safer and more-sufficient lives, the YWCA of Kaua‘i Executive Director Renae Hamilton-Cambeilh served as the grand marshall for the parade that included more than 30 floats and walking units making their way from Vidinha Stadium onto Rice Street and ending at ‘Umi Street, where the Pride Festival seamlessly got underway.

Mayor Derek Kawakami brought out a lot of the county employees to participate with a specially decorated The Kaua‘i Bus.

“I’ve got to worry about my surfboard,” the mayor said. “It’s black, and it might get a little hot.”

Joining the mayor in the parade, gubernatorial candidate and U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele led his own walking unit with his wife and daughter.

Kahele, at the end of LGBTQ History Month in October, introduced a bipartisan bill to create a center for LGBTQ service members that would coordinate and monitor the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ administration of health care, benefits, services and programs for LGBTQ veterans.

Several other candidates for political offices were either participants or spectators of the Kaua‘i Pride Parade.

Following the colorful cavalcade, the public adjourned to the lawn of the Historic County Building for the Pride Festival that was immediately launched by kumu hula Troy Lazaro and Ka Pa Hula O Hinano so Lazaro could keep his appointment with the Friends of Kaumuali‘i, which was hosting an event at Pa‘ula‘ula Historic State Park in Waimea.

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

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