Cowboy horses galloping, children catching candy, and large floats could all be seen on Naniloa Loop for the Laie Days July 4 Parade. BYU-Hawaii students and locals gathered to express their love and support for the community event, which began at campus and went around Laie around 4 p.m. and ended at the Hukilau Marketplace.
The weather was hot; attendees carried umbrellas and fans, but they welcomed the parade with smiles and cheers while waving the American flag. Children also carried bags to collect candy and popsicles given out by parade members.
Taimi Guiterrez, a senior from the Philippines studying international cultural studies, said, “At the parade, there were many different wards that were involved, like the Hauula 5th Ward and the service missionaries. Some of them prepared cheers and candy for the community. And the community members were there to support them. Everyone was involved and excited.”
Community members also enjoyed the traditional Haka performed by students from Kahuku High School. Fishy said the Haka made the parade more “youthful and lively.”
Guiterrez added, “I think Laie is proud of their support for the Red Raiders, so their Haka was able to capture the crowd’s attention. [It] was good to see as it was something different and traditional. I loved that they were a part of this great community.”
Spencer Serrao, a freshman from Mililani studying accounting, said the Haka showed how culture was able to be incorporated into the parade. “It was fun to watch because of all the preparation that was put in it. I liked how the parade members, like the Peters Family, were wearing matching red family T-shirts, and carrying banners and speakers. Even the Kahuku Medical Center was involved and had brochures and yogurts to give out. It was a happy occasion.”
For Amelia Fishy, a senior psychology major from South Carolina, the highlight of the parade was the Rodeo Club. “They were on horses, and I loved how they painted the horses to celebrate the event.” She said the best horse was the one painted with the American flag.
She added, “Also, I loved how when the grand marshals were passing the parade they said they were proud of serving the country and were excited to see all of the great things that are happening in this community.”
Fishy said she loved the parade because it showed how tight-knit the Laie community is. “This was smaller than past ones so it was easier to recognize more people,” she said. “Seeing the community come together with all the creativity put into the different floats was fun to watch.”
NOTE: This article's online publication was delayed because it was going to be featured in the Sept. 2017 print issue. It was eventually taken out.