Chinatown draws parade fans
By Karen Blakeman
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Karen Blakeman
Timothy Dixon, 4 years old and standing tall above the curb at Hotel and Bethel streets, leaned forward as the Chinese New Year Parade approached.
"Is that a — is that a dragon down there?" he asked.
It was, in fact, the first of many lion and dragon dancers wending their way along Hotel Street from near 'Iolani Palace into Chinatown yesterday for the 2006 Hawaii Chinatown New Year Celebration.
Lose Manufekai, 9, and her sister, 7-year-old Lile, came with their mother, Cynthia, from Waipahu. The girls knew what to do with lions.
"They're feeding them all my dollars," Manufekai said. "Yes, I'm hoping for prosperity in the new year."
The parade also included cultural groups, bands, and politicians and beauty queens who perched on Corvette convertibles to wave at the crowd..
And no celebration heralding the coming of the Year of the Dog would be complete without a dog — a role filled by Honolulu bounty hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman, whose exploits are chronicled in an A&E reality show. He was accompanied in his Corvette by his partner, Beth Smith.
Bo Loveless of Kaimuki stepped closer to the car so a family member could snap a picture of her with the Dog in the background.
" 'Cuz he's famous now," Loveless said.
The Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, the Chinatown Merchants Association, the United Chinese Coalition, the United Chinese Society and The ARTS at Marks Garage are among the sponsors and organizers of festivities leading to the lunar new year, which begins next Sunday. There will be lion dances on Maunakea and King streets on Friday, as well as a Chinatown Open House at the Chinatown Cultural Plaza on Friday and Saturday.
Reach Karen Blakeman at firstname.lastname@example.org.