Happy Holidays Molokai Style

Mele`ana, Kalehua and Kamalei gleefully sing Christmas mele to a huge gathering of family and friends at this year’s Parade of Lights celebration.

By Molokai Dispatch Staff

A long line of Christmas floats made its way down Main Street for the first time in over three years, attracting hundreds of people who came out to see the fanciful lights.

Almost everything that could be pushed, pulled, carried, dragged or rolled was dressed up as a float, including a giant coffee picking machine, an outrigger canoe complete with paddlers, a fishing boat and a golf-cart sled pulled by human reindeer. Guest-stars included Molokai veterans, 4-H Clover Lopers, Boy Scouts, Councilman Danny Mateo, and, most importantly, Santa Clause.

“Everybody was blown away,” said Molokai Chamber Foundation’s Barbara Haliniak, who spearheaded the event’s planning. Over the decades, the event has been passed from one organization to another until finally going dormant for several years. After successful fundraising, the Chamber Foundation brought the parade back to life.

“We’ve been hearing a lot in the community saying they miss the electric light parade, so we decided to do it,” said Haliniak.

The Parade of Lights was much more than just glitz and glam. Last Friday’s event featured a full-blown Ho`olaule`a that, besides food and live entertainment, featured festive contests with hundreds of dollars of cash motivation on the line.

Winner of this year’s contests are as follows (from first to third place): Best Store Window: Friendly Market Center, Dr. McGuire, Kaunakakai School. Best Float: Aloha Connection, Deluna Trucking, Mycogen Seeds. Best Dessert: Ku`uipo Ka`ai, Winona Ka`awa, Kalani Garces. Best Christmas Tree: Friendly Market Center, Lori Higa, C&C Manley. Best Ornament: Lori Higa, Penny Martin, Jazz Bishaw.

The mission of Molokai Chamber Foundation is to lead, support, and serve community needs. Support for this year’s Parade of Lights comes from County Parks and Recreation, County Office of Economic Development, Young Brothers, Maui Hotel Association, Hawaii Telecom, Maui Electric Company, and community volunteers.

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