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NAALEHU, Hawaii: Daniel Johnasen has been coming to the Naalehu Independance Day Parade for years. Born and raised in Ka’u, Johnasen says its always been a good event; worth finding a good spot for, early in the day, before it gets too hot, like his wife Emma did.
But this parade is a bit unusual. Maybe its just the love for American democracy that fills the air this time of year, but things seemd a little… political.
Area resident Lee McIntosh is the organizer of the march down mainstreet.
Of course, Lee is himself a familiar face come election time. He is running for the County Council, District 6 – along with councilwoman Brenda Ford, Maile David, and Bradley Westervelt, all of whom were in the parade, too.
So were numerous state senate and state house hopefuls… County Prosecutor candidates… Even mayoral challengers Dominic Yagong and Harry Kim.
The parade was almost lost a few years ago. Thanks to Lee, the parade was resurrected at the last minute…
Not everyone seemed to be thrilled with all the candidate banners and vote stumping… yet everyone seemed to enjoy the parade; clearly the candidates were a big draw. But local faith based organizations also participated. None played a bigger role than the Naalehu Assembly of God.
Religion and politics. Allegedly, none of which appeal to the animated Adriana, selling Mexican food along the parade route.
And for Uncle Daniel Johnasen and the ohana, the highlight was the Hawaii County Band. His grand daughter plays the french horn.