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Lahaina Christmas Parade to honor champion athletes at Lahainaluna

By Staff | Dec 14, 2017

Lahaina Rotary Youth Foundation Inc. recently donated a $2,000 check to Friends of Lahainaluna High School Music Treasurer Debbie Domogma. Presented by Rotary Club of Lahaina members Joe Pluta (left) and Rick Nava, the funds will support the LHS Bands’ trip to San Diego, California, to perform in the Holiday Bowl Parade.

LAHAINA – Senior Pastor Laki Kaahumanu of Church on the Go Inc., together with Church President Joseph Pluta, recently received approval to stage the second annual Lahaina Christmas Parade.

The parade will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 23, down Front Street, which will be closed to motorists between Baker and Prison streets at 9:30 a.m. and likely reopen by noon.

Lahaina Rotary Clubs and the Lahaina Rotary Youth Foundation are helping to sponsor the parade that will begin at 10 a.m. at the corner of Papalaua and Front streets (by the Outlets of Maui) and proceed south down Front Street to conclude at Banyan Tree Park.

Maui Fire Department, Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa, Kaahumanu (as Hawaiian Santa Claus), the Lahainaluna High School Marching Band, Rotary Club of Lahaina, decorated motorcycles, classic cars, Christmas characters, Darren Lee (Elvis from Lahaina’s “Burn’n Love” show) and other dignitaries will participate in the parade.

Pluta explained that the event will honor Lahainaluna High School state champions from the football, basketball and wrestling teams. Organizers hope to have team players walking in the parade.

In addition, the intent is to support fundraising for the Lahainaluna High School Marching Band, to help cover expenses for their performance in San Diego, California, on Dec. 28 during the Holiday Bowl Parade.

To make a monetary donation, visit www.squareup.com/ store/friends-of-lhs-music and note that funds should go toward the trip.

Last year, Pastor Kaahumanu attended a community event with Mayor Arakawa and West Maui County Councilwoman Elle Cochran. They talked about how wonderful it was that the Lahainaluna High School football team won the state championship.

They discussed holding a parade to honor the team. It was a week before Christmas, so they quickly scheduled the parade for Christmas Eve, Saturday, Dec. 24.

Knowing that Pluta has decades of experience running the annual Keiki Halloween Parade, Kaahumanu asked him to help organize the new event.

The LHS football team won another championship this season.

“We also hoped that they would repeat, as we planned on having the Aloha Lahaina Christmas Parade become an annual event where we could feature the LHS Marching Band and its outstanding sports and student programs, as well as other dignitaries and West Maui community organizations like the Rotary Clubs of Lahaina, partners with Church on the Go Inc. in the parade,” Pluta explained.

“We will have a banner honoring Lahainaluna High School championship teams to be held by LHS students and hopefully team members as well.”

Due to permit and liability restrictions, walking in the parade or entering a vehicle or float is limited to those authorized by the Church on the Go Inc. administration.

A flyer on the event is posted at www.churchonthego.us, and more information can be obtained by calling 661-7990 or e-mailing pluta@maui.net.