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Lana‘i: Pineapple Festival, Part 4

Despite the damp grass as the result of the sprinkles, this troop of hula dancers wanted to perform on the grass in their bare feet. So the spectators who had gathered their chairs up close to the stage (to get some shelter from the liquid sunshine) had to move back a bit — but it was well worth the effort. Even at such a young age, these girls are very accomplished hula dancers — even the very young girls you can see in the background.

You know that Mom and Dad had to be very proud of their kids as they performed this day.

Here is my friend, Larry (who is married to Darlene, who I mentioned last week). Larry is an excellent singer and guitar player (as well as playing the bass) and was providing musical accompaniment for some of the hula performances.

Larry performs at weddings and at the hotels on Lana‘i. One of my favorite memories was listening to him perform at the Lodge at Koele near the Christmas holidays. He took requests and then had to search his memory to sing "The Twelve Days of Christmas" Hawaiian-style.

"Numbah one day of Christmas
My tutu gave to me
One mynah bird in one papaya tree..." and so on.

Larry has actually recorded a couple albums. I helped Larry and Darlene put together a website to showcase both the island of Lana‘i and Larry's music — if you are interested, click here.

As the sun set and the lights came on, the festivities continued. These hula dancers took their art out among the people.

Eventually, it was time for the headliner — Weldon Kekauoha from O‘ahu. He comes from a musical family and started at an early age, learning to play the ukulele at age four!

He absorbed the music from his family and eventually began performing and recording. His performance this night was warmly received — but at long last, he announced that it was time for the fireworks!

I have never attempted to photograph fireworks before. Prior to coming to the Pineapple Festival I sought out advice from experienced photographers who I follow online.

I must admit that it is harder than it looks (or sounds). You have to set your focus to infinity (not easy in the dark), close down the aperture and set the shutter speed to between two and five seconds. Oh, don't forget the tripod.

You have to anticipate the launch and squeeze the shutter release before the explosion in order to capture the ascent and the explosion (maybe).

Then when the grand finale starts, you simply have to get lucky.

This was my favorite shot — not only did it capture multiple explosions but also they provided back-lighting of the Cook's Pines that populate Dole Park. Finally, it grew silent. Time to gather our stuff and catch the bus to the harbor to return us to Maui. It was a wonderful experience. I recommend attending for anyone who is planning a trip to Maui in the July time frame. Maybe you might even stay a few days to discover the magic of Lana‘i.

Life is good.

B. David

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