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I Love Kailua – Many make it part of their Hawaii Vacations
The Outdoor Circle of Lanikai & Kailua is an avid supporter of this small town’s beauty and charm, and they put money from fundraising all over town to make it the appealing place it has always been. Since their focus is outdoor beauty’, the projects they have funded are quite obvious, adding trees, parks, landscaping, and art, and maintaining them so the projects just keep getting better. (I was very pleased to read that the O.C. clubs of Hawaii are responsible for keeping our state billboard free – 1 of only 4 in the nation!) And each year their biggest fundraiser is the ever popular “I LOVE KAILUA” town party. It’s in it’s 19th year and based on the last 4 times I’ve attended, it’s guaranteed to be on the hottest day of the spring season.
upper – ILK pins, jewelry from nature tea towels. below – Kailua yearbook cover circa 1967, gorgeous Norfolk pine plate.
For the last 3 years, I’ve actually been a participant in one of the entertainment acts – as I belong to Pattye Wright’s halau, dancing Tahitian and hula dances. The planners of ILK insist that only local entertainment, businesses, organizations and restaurants represent themselves, as they all have a vested interest in their town.
The craft fair that is set up at the end of the road (all of downtown is closed to traffic) has a very windward flair to it, and I ran into several artists I know and have taken classes from, and it was fun to see their art showcased. And although the craft section is not large, like in some other fair’s I’ve attended, the quality is exceptional and offers visitors a chance to buy only from the best.
L to R: stone mosaic DIY install, hats with lei trim, orchids ILR, local watercolor.
When you walk by the booths manned by local green’, environmental, and legislative planning groups, you’ll see that Kailua residents love their small community and are willing to fight for it and try to protect it from encroachment from “big business’, non-earth friendly practices, and overpopulation. I’m a relative newcomer and already have seen almost too many changes that put the small town character’ at risk. What I saw at the town party were attempts to counter the not so acceptable changes with some good positive changes that locals and visitors will both benefit from. This includes better bike paths, hiking trails that don’t harm the habitat, and some control over bed and breakfast business growth. We know that our area is host to one of the world’s best beaches and it should be shared, and there are high hopes future visitors will also buy into the desire to preserve this area for more future visitors.