Gateway: Living

Key Peninsula embraces spirit of Hawaii for parade, luau

The lead vehicle in Saturday’s Key Peninsula Parade and Luau to benefit the KP Civic Center was this “collector item” bus representing the KP Community Council.
The lead vehicle in Saturday’s Key Peninsula Parade and Luau to benefit the KP Civic Center was this “collector item” bus representing the KP Community Council. Special to the Gateway

Under a blazing sun and temperatures in the 90s, Key Peninsulans re-initiated the once-annual parade and festivities which once blessed each summer.

This year’s event had a twist: It was a Hawaiian-themed dress and luau for all.

Vehicles, floats and political aspirants gathered in Key Center and, at 3:30 p.m. began moving to the KP Civic Center in Vaughn. Unlike previous such events, the hot weather put a damper on the amount of viewers and cheerers-on along the parade route.

The lead vehicle in Saturday’s parade was a “collector item” bus representing the KP Community Council. It was preceded by KP Fire Department vehicles clearing the way and followed by a collection of vintage automobiles, Doctor William Roes’ Hometown Band providing music on the road, participants aboard floats of various design (throwing candy which kids joyously gathered up) and a sprinkling of candidates for public office.

At the KP Civic Center volunteers fashioned grass skirts for the adventurous among the gathering, ticket sellers displayed certificates of some of the many sponsors of the parade and luau, a taped off Hawaii-festooned open air bar provided cool liquid refreshments, which patrons did not enjoy in the scorching sun but imbibed hidden in the shade of the nearby KP Civic Center.

A local KP Girl Scout troop served the Hawaiian luau meal inside the cool KP Civic Center. The meal was prepared by a kitchen crew of bona fide Hawaiians, who prepared a genuine luau luncheon for attendees, many of whom were wearing traditional leis.

“We’d hoped for a larger crowd,” said KPCCA President Phil Bauer. “But given the horrendous heat and competition from the SeaFair, we’re pleased with the modest success we achieved. Next year, we’ll make some changes and expect better attendance.”

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