Though if seemed as if everyone had really checked out for the long Fourth of July weekend by mid-day thursday (at least here in the business community), the real festivities commenced Friday afternoon, starting with the monthly First Friday Wailuku block party. By 5 PM, Market Street had been cordoned off & closed to traffic, a stage, sound system & runway ramp had been erected in the street, vendors had lined the sidewalks to hawk their wares and restaurants & cafes were beginning to bustle.
In conjunction with the festivities, Maui Thing Clothing Co. was also celebrating their second birthday and celebrate they did... and in stylee! The gathered street revelers were treated to a high fashion fashion show of the company's line of thoughtful youth-wear. Presiding over the formalities was Manao Radio 91.5 FM's fearless leader, Kathy Collins. As if that wasn't enough, MT also hosted a high-energy, high-volume performance by Uncle Willie K. who not only played through the runway activities, but continued on into the evening - delivering a blistering set of heavy rock covers and original tunes. Great fun had by all! Big Mahalos go out to MT for putting on a great show, a great time and for donating a portion of each sale made that evening to support 91.5FM.
Uncle Willie K smokes
The following morning, it was up with the chickens and off to meet with retired Director of the Schaefer International Gallery, Darrel Orwig & his lovely wife Mary. From their place, we took a short stroll up to the center of Makawao Town to watch the annual Fourth of July Parade. Always a big event in sleepy Makawao, this year was no exception though enthusiasm was slightly dampened by frequent, cool downpours & the fact that 75% of the parade this year consisted of politicians marching with their assembled campaign armies. Still, fun was to be had with the ubiquitous Shriners in their tiny cars, lots of beautiful horses, colorful floats, a long-horn steer and a Rodeo Queen disguised as a pink, quilted toaster-cozy.
It's not a parade until the Shriner's show up
Don't ever do it without your Fez on
Later that evening, it was off to Lahaina to meet friends for dinner at the always excellent Mala Ocean Tavern. After dinner, we all headed over to the nearby Lahaina Jodo Mission to watch the annual lantern floating ceremony and Obon Dance, one of the island's biggest mid-summer evening events. The particular evening, warm & balmy with slight breezes, the largest assembled crowd I have ever seen at an Obon Dance, a chance to re-connect with old friends from the westside and the opportunity to celebrate the unique cultural melting pot and tightly-knit community that makes living on this island so very special.
Sunset preparations for the lantern floating ceremony
To the Lagoon
Dance the night away
Davo's got video