Laie Days event brings community together

Written by: 
Samone Isom ~ Multimedia Journalist

Friends, family, food and fun filled the Laie Elementary School soccer field during the Sunset to Sunrise event for the annual summer Laie Days, Friday, July 18. While the sun was setting, community members flocked to bouncy castles and food booths, children stood transfixed by enormous bubbles, and organizers prepped the stage with microphones and speakers for the entertainment that was to come.

“Welcome to our kickoff of Laie Days! This night of good entertainment and wholesome activities so our families can celebrate our people of Laie. We commemorate the founding of our beautiful Laie and our pioneer forbearers who settled this place,” announced Uiti Siaosi, who emceed the event. He introduced each act as they came on, and addressed the crowd several times, saying they would not continue the show until the audience showed the performers some love by cheering and clapping.

Before the acts began, attendees went to the various booths that ringed the field. Spots for food booths are purchased for $50 from the Laie Community Association (LCA), said Theresa Pukahi. Pukahi was co-manning the Pukahi & Vendida family food booth, preparing and selling banana lumpia, spam musubi and poi mochi. “We sponsor my brother’s restaurant, ‘2 Bald Guys,’ at Kaya’s store. This is my first time being at the booth in three or four years.”

Anyone could jump in the bouncy castles, provided by Xtreme fun rentals, for a small price. However, on Friday, July 25, the bounce houses set up in the shopping center will be free, according to employee Paulette Enesi. The shopping center businesses will pay for their use.

Robert Kahawaii, a senior in communications from Laie, also had a family-run booth. He said he has been attending the various activities of Laie Days since he was a keiki, and said the Sunset to Sunrise event is one of the highlights. “I look forward to the time and place to be with everyone in the community. We so rarely have time to hang out together as a community. It is fun to see the local talent, and whenever there is food there’s always a good time.”

Some of the local talent included musicians, dancers, and fire-knife performers. Local legend Tafili Galeai, or “the original

Prince” sang along with a band. Recent Kahuku High School graduate Annie Soleiai Barenaba and her friends performed an energetic lip-synced dance to a Tina Turner song. Locals Makaveli and Mogwai Pou Jackson rapped some original lyrics.

The InstaKookys dance crew (Jackson Tilo, Genedel Glory, Hyrum Lindquist, Blessile Alegado, Saki Suyama and Samone Isom) danced its way through several styles of hip hop to a cheering crowd.

Around midnight, the booths closed down and the movies came on. Free breakfast by Tita’s Grill was provided around sunrise.