Hot weather helps draw many to attend the KP parade and luau


Steve Whitford

Rylee Brown, 12 and Amanda Verret, 8, pose with their farm animals prior to the beginning of the Hawaiian Days Parade and Luau in Key Center. Photo by Alice Kinerk, KP News

On Saturday, Aug 1, citizens turned out for the the Key Peninsula’s first-ever Hawaiian Days Parade and Luau.

Despite 95-degree weather, an enthusiastic group formed at the Key Center fire station and paraded down the Key Peninsula Highway en route to the Key Peninsula Civic Center, much to the delight of sweat-soaked onlookers.

Besides people, there were many unusual and gorgeous vehicles. There was the big blue bus, driven and owned by Mark Ambler, a vintage Jeep convertible, an antique Honda Goldwing and a very old tractor-thing. There was a float filled with musicians and a unique float from the Westwynd Motel and Suites. It depicted a motel room complete with a bed and children: Dominic, age 5, Ethan, age 9, and Tisa, age 11, as well as a float designer and a motel manager, Mandy Hale. It was later awarded for best theme entry.

One of the more exotic vehicles in the parade was Dianna Marcoe’s yellow Frankenstein convertible, which is a composite car made from parts from many different cars. Seated inside was grandson Giovonni, 7, looking very much like the grand marshal.

Many parade notables were out meeting and greeting folks. Megan Crane and Lexi Graham were expounding the virtues of Skate Night, an event for grades K through eighth that starts in September.

Zachary Smith, running for director of school district No. 4 was out “squeezing the flesh” and exposing his proposed platform that included community involvement, academic achievement and state fully-funded education. “I have five children of my own,” Smith said. “Schools are very important to me.”

Michelle Caldier, District 26 State representative and her family were busy shaking hands and throwing packages of Skittles to her constituents.

Last but not least were Hansel the goat and Dora the sheep, who seemed not to care much about local politics, but were promoting the upcoming KP Farm Tour.

The luau was held at the civic center and there was something there for everybody. There were games and activities for the young, a raffle, an auction and a spirits garden for the adults.

The air was filled with sounds of live music and the aromas of luau food, which included barbequed pork, rice, potato and macaroni salad, chicken long rice, salmon rolls and fruit.

Intense heat sent many of people looking for a cooler spot to enjoy their meal. Food preparation started the night before. Chef Dalbert Kahuli was busy at 10 p.m. seasoning the pork that was slow-cooked for about nine hours.

Kahuli, is a native-born Hawaiian who now lives in Auburn. Through large smiles, he said, “I’ve been cooking all of my life. I cook for the passion and for all my friends. It comes from my heart.” Kahuli was ably assisted by Jim Harper, lives in Spanaway, and by Louise Sagapolu-Jones, a self-described Hawaiian transplant.

Spokesman Tracy Geiss, a Key Peninsula Civc Center board member, summarized the fiscal and physical results of the event.

According to Geiss, Peninsula Light Co. was the largest sponsor, which covered all the costs of the food and spirits.

“Angel Guild and local merchants covered other costs, including providing 300 bottles of water,” Geiss said. “We sold over 100 luau tickets, as well as the raffle and silent auction event. we raised approximately $2,300.”

“We would like this to be an annual event, and we plan to make some improvements that will make the event even better,” Geiss said.