Laie community members celebrated their communal heritage and love for the town by coming together to enjoy food, entertainment and fun at an annual Sunset to Sunrise event organized by the Laie Community Association at the Laie Elementary School on Friday, July 13 to 14 from 4 p.m. to 8 a.m.
“This is part of our Laie Days celebration, and it’s a great opportunity for us to gather together, watch movies, give each other company, eat food, watch entertainment from our community, as well as others who will come and perform,” said Kingsley Ah You, a Laie community member who was the emcee of the Sunset to Sunrise event. “There will be lots of games booths and lots of food. It’s always a big thing in our community to eat. This also provides a fun and safe activity for families.
“This event started with the city and county. They did it one year, and my father, Junior Ah You and the Laie Community Association, carried on with the event by taking care of it ourselves -- our own community. Of course, it is a drug-free fun opportunity for children to be out playing in families and celebrating each other.”
The event had spotlights that illuminated the elementary campus field, which was completely covered with food vendors, bounce houses and families. Parents came with their children to mingle, sit, eat and watch their children dance to a deejay or live-musical performances alongside food and other vendors. The event also featured fire dancing and movies streamed on a big, white screen from 9 p.m. until the morning, and families with their children could relax and eat on the grass or sit in lawn chairs they brought with them.
A member on the LCA Board of Directors, Verla Moore, from Laie, shared how once Junior Ah You had come up with the idea, the board was excited to chip in to do the work needed to get the event going and have it be a success as it has been every year.
She said, “The overall goal is to really just get our community out to have fun. The entire month of July, we just have fun. I would like to thank the community. Without the community, none of this would ever happen, but we have a lot of fun in this community. This is just our way to relax and give back.
“You have to understand this is part of a month-long celebration for our community.” The LCA plans events during July to coincide with the July 24 Pioneer Day celebrations in Utah.
Moore shared the schedule the LCA had been following up to this moment. The activities started with a fireside on July 1, and then on the Fourth of July was a carnival at the Polynesian Cultural Center Hukilau marketplace. On July 7, an activity was held at Hukilau Beach, which led up to the July 14 event, the Sunset to Sunrise at the Laie Elementary School Field. The overnight event was followed by the Kupuna Luncheon at PCC on July 18. She added the month of July would end with a few sporting events, a musical fireside on July 29 and then an ending Summer Bash on Aug 31.
One of the vendors at the community activity was Liz Requilman, from Kahuku. She was working her husband‘s, Aaron Requilman, business The Grill Hawaii. She said her husband had gone to culinary school for a year and being able to participate in events such as these is a way for him to give back to the community.
Full of excitement, she said, “The best part of the night is seeing my friends and having them come and visit with me -- and having people be satisfied with the food. It’s always nice when people come back and share how much they like the food. It’s rewarding.
“It’s always nice seeing your friends, other than at Foodland, and it’s always nice seeing everyone enjoy themselves. A lot of these people I’ve known and serviced over the years. To see them grow up and have their own families, is kind of neat.”
Ah You said he wanted to express his gratitude and a big mahalo for the sponsors who when asked, always donate products or supporting funds to put on this event. They included the president of the Laie Community Association, Pane Meatoga and LCA member Aunty Kela Miller. The sponsors this year were: Aaron Campbell, the Courtyard Marriott, Junior Nuituipuivaha, Pate Iosepa Electric, Moa Mahe, Magi Keil, Rocky with Safety Systems, Bishop Aaron Goo, the Polynesian Cultural Center, and many others, he thanked for their love and support.