This year was LEX BRODIE’S TIRE’s first year to participate in Christmas parades on the Island. We chose to do the KEAAU LIGHTED PARADE in east Hawaii and the KONA LIGHTED PARADE in West Hawaii.
THE KEAAU CHRISTMAS LIGHTED PARADE
Now, you have to keep in mind that we never did anything like this before; we were parade virgins and LIGHTED PARADE virgins to boot! The Keaau Parade was first on Dec. 8th. We all had our list of tasks to get done. Dennis Domingo offered his yard to work on the project. Daniel Perreira and his team of technicians from the Pahoa store worked on building the railings for our trailer the week of the parade. Derrick Matias snuck around the neighborhoods cutting monstera leaves for the float to use as backdrop material. Patrick Cabango raided his mother’s yard of ti leaves and I had the task of making sure we had enough Christmas lights to light up our display. Armed with zip ties, tie wire, staple guns, chicken wire, extension cords & outlet strips-we worked until the wee hours on the night to put our float together and make sure all the lights lit up. The theme was Disney Christmas, so we chose to do Lilo & Stitch.
In the morning, we were back at work adding the finishing touches. I was so happy to hear that Hilo was going through a drought. Rainbow Falls made the news that week because it was all dried up. We had just completed tying our cardboard canoe onto the end of the float and were working on the last banner when Mother Nature decided to end her dry spell. (She couldn’t have waited until tomorrow!! ) It started to drizzle, then it poured. Oh well…. At least we were done with the construction phase. It was time to hook up our trailer and head to town. =)
Everyone took their positions on the float. We ended up with 2 little girls who wanted to be Lilo (why not!), 12 year old Drayson Perreira dressed as Stitch, Kalei Morate (our sales associate from Pahoa) was our shirtless caveman Little Joe and Dayson Perreira was our shirtless canoe paddler which proved to be very cold in the rain. Thank you guys!!!
The rain did not stop families from coming out to enjoy the lights & the sites. As we made our way through the town waving and shouting “Merry Christmas”, you couldn’t help but smile to see all the children in the crowds with eyes lit up with joy. I just LOVE The SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS! And just for the record, not one child on our float complained about getting wet in the rain. =)
KONA CHRISTMAS LIGHTED PARADE
Since I had done the first parade the week before, the Kona parade turned out to be much easier. Plus it did help that we had borrowed a smaller truck from Kona Trans with removable sides. The chicken wire was attached, monstera leaves wired in place and giant gift boxes were wrapped and tapped together. The lights were strung everywhere on the truck that had a surface including the truck cab. We had a great team helping and was done by 10:00pm. Yippee! Tommy Ching a.k.a. Kahikina made sure we were laughing all night long.
The next day, we met back at the old Island Chevrolet location to finish up the decorating. By 4:00 we were rolling out of the parking lot and over to the Kona Sports Complex. We headed down the parade route around 5:15 as Kahikina sang silly Christmas songs to the crowds. They loved it! Fish nets were provided to collect $1 bills to help feed the Hungry on the Big Island. This was the First Annual Menehune Food Drive sponsored by the Rotary Clubs of West Hawaii and they were able to collect over $21,000!! Our community is so amazing! Again, the Christmas Spirit is Alive on the Big Island.
Thank you to everyone who helped with our CHRISTMAS PARADE floats. It takes a lot of hours and many hands to put these together. Thank You for being in the Holiday Spirit! You made our first ever CHRISTMAS PARADES so remarkable and enjoyable. So much so- I heard some of you planning for next year! Now that’s the SPIRIT!