Despite the rain parents, children, and organizers were un-damped in putting on the 8th Annual Kea’au Community Christmas Parade, held Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011. This year’s theme was “Merry Christmas Melodies”. Puna musician Rupert Tripp, Jr. was this year’s Grand Marshall, an Na Hoku Hanohano winner Mark Yamanaka from Hilo Honorary Judge; Disc Jockey J.E. Orozco, from K-BIG FM kept the Holiday Spirit festive and Fun.
This year parade category winners are:
Best Decorated Large Float – 1st. Place: HFS Federal Credit Union , 2nd Place: Hawaii Family Health Center.
Best Decorated Medium Float – 1st Place: Drain Pipe Plumbing and Solar , 2nd Place: Foodland – Keaau
Best Decorated Small Float - 1st. Place: Keaau High School Class of 2012 , 2nd Place: Keaau Elementary School PTSA
Marching Bands – 1st. Place: Keaau Middle and High School Bands , 2nd Place: Kamehameha School Band
Marching Units – 1st. Place: Keaau High Peer Education Program, 2nd Place: Sure Foundation Church
Big Rigs – 1st Place: DC’s Towing Service, 2nd Place: C&F Trucking
According to Dee Joaquin, committee member in the parade staging area, “people’s spirits were amazing very sparkly in the winter rain”
Fifty-five organizations entered the parade including: Hawaii Police Department, Civil Air Patrol – Lyman Field Composite Squadron, Hawaii County Band, Grand Marshall Rupert Tripp Jr., Mayor Billy Kenoi, Mufi Hannemann, Little Miss Big Island Tahiti, Kealaikahiki, Keaau Post Office, Mt View Elementary School, Puna Hongwanji, Keaau Village Idol, Keaau Elementary School – PTSA, Paradise Roller Girls, Waiakea Intermediate School Ukulele Band, Keaau Boys & Girls Club, Boy Scouts of America – Pack 81, Paradise Park Baptist Church, Fred Blas & Puna Panthers, Pacific Gymnastics, Kamehameha School Band, Class of 2012 – Keaau High School, Hawaii Horse Owners Association, The Young Men and Young Women of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Keaau Village Market, Sure Foundation Church, GEICO Hawaii, Foodland Keaau, Paradise Park Church of the Nazarene, Keaau High Peer Education Program, Keaau Middle & High School Bands, Ken’s Towing, Iron Horse Towing, Hawaii County Radio Control Club, Lehua Hawaii Productions, Drainpipe Plumbing & Solar, Keaau High School 2011-2012 Football Team, Coca Cola Company, Urgent Care, JYD Towing, DC’s Towing Service, Amazing Towing & Collision Specialists, Leite Towing, Sanborn Trucking, C&F Trucking, HFS Federal Credit Union, Boy Scouts of America – Cub Scout Pack 67, Bullies in Paradise, and Hawaii Family Health Center.
Judges Lorene Hough, Alice Sledge, Mitch Roth, Carol Hunter, and Mark Yamanaka, scored the entries on originality, attractiveness, and most spirited.
Community sponsors included, GW Construction, Hugh Willocks, Diamond Head Papaya, Keaau Shell, Eddie’s Plumbing, Steve Lim, Alibi Tavern, Puna Rock, Yamanaka Enterprises, Pacific Floral Exchange, First Hawaiian Bank , Island Cold Storage, Keaau Elementary PTSA, HFS Federal Credit Union, MacDonalds of Keaau, W. H. Shipman, Watumull – Keaau Shopping Center, and Wiki-Wiki Mart.
This year’s parade chairwomen was Arline Macanas and subcommittee members included, Bill Walter, Carl Okuyama, Val Summers, Tammy Kagawa, Jamil Ahmadia, Randy Akao, Sally DeRyke, Jeanie Acia, Scott Amaral, Ken Watanabe, Kathy Weller, Dee Joaquin, Adella Walter, Tom English, Puamana Paikai, Valerie Ferrari, Ron Jarvis, Cheryl Kiefer, Barbara Riley, Trina Nahm-Mijo, Lilly Chan-Harris, Stan M. Gapol, Dean Cevallos, and J.E. Orozco.