Fireworks A Go In Kailua, Parade Too

With the unexpected but very welcome $25,000 check from Kailua philanthropist “Uncle Kokua,” preparations are now on track for a full-on fireworks show at 8 p.m. July 4 at Kailua Beach Park.

St. Anthony’s School students donated $4 each for a ‘free dress day’ pass in a campaign that resulted in $1,000 for the 2013 Kailua Fireworks fund. At the check presentation were (from left) principal Bridget Olsen, Internet librarian Joyce Polluck, fireworks committee chairwoman Jane Holden and vice principal Caryn DeMello. Photo from Brook Gramann.

The donation, announced by elated sign wavers — plus the $31,000 already given to the nonprofit Kailua Fireworks fund from local residents and businesses — means that the town’s traditional pyrotechnic show will go on next month after a dark Fourth in 2012.

The fireworks have been a favorite holiday finale for Kailuans and for families across Oahu since 1948. As Uncle Kokua put it while presenting his check, “Not having fireworks is like having Christmas with- out Santa Claus — you just can’t do it!”

Dozens of donors, though of lesser means, were just as important, according to Kailua Fireworks committee chairwoman Jana Holden.

“We are thrilled to have succeeded,” she said. “Everyone stepped in to help any way they could. Students at St. Anthony School kicked off our effort with their own fundraiser for the fireworks display.”

The keiki drive brought in $1,000 in individual $4 donations. In exchange for the gift, students got a “free dress” day pass, allowing them to don non-uniform attire of their choice.

To view a complete list of donors, visit Donations still are welcome to Kailua Fireworks, 600 Kailua Road #119, Kailua, HI 96734. Next year’s campaign, after all, is now under way.

“Our committee will remain active throughout the year,” Holden said, “ensuring success for 2014.”

Kailua Chamber of Commerce volunteers, meanwhile, are setting up for the 67th July 4 parade on the theme “True Blue Kailua,” complete with logo designed by Ken and John Sanders. The annual Kailua Independence Day parade starts at 10 a.m. on Kainalu Drive at Palapu Street and ends at Kailua Intermediate School. Grand marshal Terry George, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation, leads the way.

Final deadline to apply is June 21, and application forms are available at kailu- Mail them with the parade fee to KCOC, P.O. Box 1496, Kailua, HI 96734. Fees range from $100 to $450 with no charge for marching bands, military, veterans or horse units. A mandatory meeting is set for 7 p.m. June 27 at Kailua Intermediate cafeteria. All floats and marching units must display the American flag, and onlookers are encouraged to where red, white and blue.

For details, call 261-7997 or email Parade co-chairs are Dr. Chip Abbadessa and John Keene. Parade shirts are on sale at Kailua Information Center.