Truckers Light the Way at 57th Kamuela Twilight Parade & Star PartyDecember 3, 2017, 1:00 PM HST (Updated December 3, 2017, 1:02 PM)
The 57th Annual Waimea Christmas Twilight Parade wowed more than 12,000 spectators with more than 1,200 participants representing schools, scouts, churches, clubs, organizations, ranches, farms and businesses on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017.
It was a chilly, rainy night in Waimea, but weather did not dampen the holiday spirit as 40 floats and 60 trucks turned out for the Christmas parade.
The parade’s grand marshall was 80-year-old Waimea trucker Keoki Pahio Liana. Liana is a beloved trucker and paniolo with a 46-year safety record behind the wheel of a big rig. This year marked the 20th year that truckers have participated in the parade.
“It’s an honor to be this year’s grand marshall,” said Liana.
Big Island truckers have joined the Waimea parade for the past 20 years to help make it more fun for everyone—keiki to kūpuna.
“Truckers are the backbone of our island community… we work hard every day to serve the community and help keep it safe, too,” said Sonny Miranda with S&R Trucking, who coordinates the truck brigade.
Waimea’s annual Christmas parade also serves the community by supporting the Big Island Giving Tree, a nonprofit volunteer group that helps ensure that all are remembered during the holidays.
As the parade rolled to a close, spectators flowed into the base facility at Canada-France-Hawai‘i Telescope (CFHT) for an evening of stargazing. The free community event treated guests to hot chocolate, a s’mores fire pit and a glimpse of the snow covered Maunakea summit through the observatory’s webcams. The observatory set up a fire pit on their front lawn along with a whole set of family activities.
“It’s such an honor to be a part of the festivities and traditions,” said Mary Beth Laychak, outreach program manager at CFHT. “It’s warming to see the community gathered here, especially during the holidays.”
“We love the Winter Star Party,” said Ryan Aurello, a Pa‘auilo resident. “Our kids always enjoy themselves while making Christmas ornaments and roasting hot dogs by the fire.”
To learn more about the CHFT Winter Star Party, visit www.chft.hawaii.edu or call (808) 885-3121.