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Maui Fair Parade

Another October 14th has come and gone. "So?", you say. Well, that is the anniversary of my retirement from Hewlett-Packard, a date shared with a number of HP friends. Six years ago! Can you believe the time has passed so quickly? I know I sure cannot. But what better way to celebrate than with a parade. And if you stage that parade on Maui — it just does not get any better than that.

Okay, they did not really stage the parade just for me — it was the Maui County Fair Parade. However, I did plan my trip to Maui to coincide with the Maui County Fair — this year's was the 89th such fair. After arriving on Maui, I learned that technically, the name was changed to "The Maui Fair" — apparently, the County of Maui wanted to make it clear that the fair was organized privately, not by the county. Such technicalities in laid-back Maui? Surprising to me.

Regardless, what better way to lead off a parade but with a vintage fire engine with Smokey the Bear aboard?

I must tell you that this was the longest parade I have ever seen. High schools, civic groups, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, Brownies, beauty pageant winners, politicians, ROTC cadets, lifeguards, Haleakala national park, and on and on. It seemed like half the residents of Maui participated. And the other half watched, taking photos of their kid (parent, sibling, whatever) marching or riding in the Maui County Fair Parade. In fact, it took two hours for the entire parade to pass the spot where I was standing. I promise not to show every participant but just a handful that caught my eye.

One of the high school bands dressed in some very snappy looking uniforms. A bit martial in appearance — making me think of the vintage uniforms from the time of the Hawai`ian monarchy.

And where, but in Hawai`i would you find a marching band of Taiko drummers. I was particularly taken by these two kids, barely bigger than the drums they were beating. Apparently, The Maui News liked them too because there was an article on them the next day in the paper — brother and sister.

Now this I would never have expected on Maui — a bagpipe and drum corps. There are many nationalities that have blended in the rich fabric of Hawai`i but I am not aware of a significant Scottish population. Perhaps it is just these eight people.

And what parade would be complete without the Shriners? In case you do not know, the Shriners support Shriners Hospitals for Children, 22 hospitals dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing specialty pediatric care, research and teaching programs. When not fundraising, they can be found enjoying a little fun in the sun.

Miss Maui 2011 — Maya Lida. Seeing her brought back old memories. One of my good friends from Maui (now living on Lana`i) was very active in the Miss Maui Pageant. During the year I lived on Maui, she asked me to participate in practice interviews to help the young women prepare for the live questioning that takes place during the pageant. One of the girls had danced hula professionally as part of the Brothers Cazimero show, so I asked her about her experience and her eyes lit up and her personality really shined brightly. Good memories.

Another one of the beauty contest winners — it seemed like dozens but in reality it was only a handful. Much cuter than Smokey the Bear, don't you think?

What really surprised me was the number of younger beauty contest winners. Here is Miss Preteen Hawai`iki.

Younger still, Mini Miss Maui.

And this girl was so young, I'll call her Micro Miss Maui. All joking aside, these girls were all very cute.

Photography note: Photographers generally have an image in mind when they snap the shutter and hope that the reality of the downloaded pixels approach that mental image. Sometimes in the course of manipulating the image in Photoshop (or other software), one makes a mistake that vastly improves on the shot. Here I accidentally cropped the picture much tighter than I had planned — and realized that this is what I should have been seeking all along. Live and learn.

Near the end of the parade, a real celebrity appeared on a float — Winnie the Pooh from the books and movies of the same name. It was a fun parade — a bit long — I would suggest shortening to at most an hour. But it seemed like everyone on Maui wanted to participate and, I suppose, it was hard for the organizers to say "no".

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com