LIHU‘E — Novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19 could not scare away St. Patrick, or any of his accompanying icons of fairies or leprechauns, Sunday at the Kukui Grove Center.
Princesses Green Fairy and Leprechaun, armed with baskets of goodies, arrived at the Kukui Grove Center to greet keiki and shoppers, welcoming St. Patrick’s Day. The royalty in green was joined by a table hosted by Kukui Grove with bags of giveaways and Irish-themed goodies.
“We have policies that govern not only Kukui Grove, but other shopping centers in Hawai‘i,” said Melissa McFerrin-Warrack, the specialty leasing and marketing manager for Kukui Grove. “We need to do things in accordance with those policies.”
Those policies were determined after consultation and following the changing situation surrounding COVID-19. These changes were taking place as McFerrin-Warrack received a text message advising of the new 50-people maximum in regards to social distancing.
Prizes and giveaways were changed from a keiki game event to pre-packaged goodie bags that were available for keiki to pick up. The contents in the goodie bags were individually factory-sealed, and the original inter-active activity items were instead sent home in the goodie bags for at-home family activity.
“This is about social distance,” McFerrin-Warrack said. “We’re trying to minimize contact. We were supposed to have cookie decorating, but that involves touching so we eliminated that. Everything is scaled back and adapted in consideration for COVID-15 and the safety of shoppers and the associates who work here.”
Further discouragement on the formation of crowds involved Princesses Green Fairy and Leprechaun canvassing the shopping center and not remaining in one spot too long, armed with baskets of giveaways to keiki.
Artist Helen Turner was gallery sitting at the Kaua‘i Society of Artists gallery and was surprised at the appearance of the fairy princesses.
“At first I was surprised to see them,” she said. “But it’s good because it takes people’s minds off toilet paper and disinfectants. Now, where are my sons who went off looking for lunch?”
Following St. Patrick’s Day, McFerrin-Warrack is grappling with Easter when scores of youngsters are anticipated to gather in search of Easter eggs at the shopping center.
Jen Ortal, who helped coordinate the events with McFerrin-Warrack said, “Everyone is trying to follow the practices and guidelines, and still live life.”
Source: The Garden Island