Waimea Valley Celebrates Its Grand Opening Aug. 16

Wednesday - August 06, 2008
By MidWeek Staff
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Owana Salazar
Owana Salazar will entertain at 12:30 p.m. Aug. 16 during Waimea Valley’s grand opening festivities, which run from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Photo from Kauhana Communications.

Waimea Valley plans a grand opening Aug. 16 to share with the public a sense of its renewed role as a guardian of Hawaiian culture and spirituality since Hiipaka LLC took over responsibility in February.

Activities, entertainment, food, demonstrations and tours are planned from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission ranges from $10 to $3. For more information, call 638-7766.

With a theme of “Pulama O Waimea” (Care for and cherish Waimea), interim executive director Gail Ann Chew said the park is taking steps to become the steward of the 1,875-acre valley. “(The theme) exemplifies our commitment to perpetuating and sharing the Hawaiian culture,” she said, “and we look forward to continuing to offer programs and activities throughout the year that will fulfill this vision.”

For the children, there will be Hawaiian games like ulu maika, haka moa, konane and ihe, as well as a nature scavenger hunt. Families can take guided walking tours featuring conservation/wildlife, botany, history and native plants.

Demonstrating their arts will be Kaiulani De Silva and Verna Takashima (kapa), Gwen Kamisugi and Lorna Pacheco (lauhala) with weavers from Kahana Valley, kumu hula Kahai Topolinski and halau (lei hula), Janice and Gordon Umi Kai (weapons, knotting, cordage) and Sarah Miles and park staff (la’au lapa’au).

Emcee of entertainment Kimo Kahoano will introduce Owana Salazar, Sean Naauao and Pua Alii Ilima with kumu hula Vicki Holt Takamine. The Waimea Valley Grill will serve up Hawaiian food and more all day.

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