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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, April 16, 2010

Spirits high as Iolani Fair kicks off

Advertiser Staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Myles Gokan, left, and Ralph Mesick, both parents of Iolani students, fry up the ever-popular malasadas at the Iolani Fair today.

DEBORAH BOOKER | The Honolulu Advertiser

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The 'Iolani Fair began just before noon today on the school's baseball field under overcast skies and cool northerly winds.

But an occasional light sprinkle did nothing to dampen the spirits of the throngs of students and parents who had come to enjoy the games, rides, entertainment and food that are part of the annual event.

Minutes after the fair opened lines were already forming behind the food booths offering the two basic staples for elementary and high school students: pizza and french fries.

Other choices included, Korean kalbi, steak and shrimp, barbecue beef, fried noodles, shave ice and chili dogs. Another perennial favorite, the malasada stand, operated by the 'Iolani Class of 2011, was doing brisk business as well.

Fourth-graders Trevor Tamura and Norton Kishi began the afternoon by giving the "Mind-winder" ride a workout.

"That ride can make you nauseated," Tamura said knowingly, after spinning as hard as the two boys could make the ride go for the better part of five minutes.

"It was our first time today, but we're definitely going back later," Kishi said.

A huge white tent spanned much of the outfield and was lined on both sides by nearly 100 yards of various games, with names like "Frog Bog" and "Lani Moo Milk Bottle Toss."

Parents Francis and Leigh Jusuf, whose daughter, Maya, is an 'Iolani kindergartner, were overseeing the Lani Moo game.

"We'll be here for 12 hours today and 12 tomorrow," Francis Jusuf said.

He said his family used to come to the fair even before his daughter enrolled at 'Iolani.

"It's for a good cause and I think 'Iolani is a good institution for the community," Jusuf said.

First-grader Ryan Kai Kinningham of Mililani managed to plop a softball down the throat of one of the milk cans and came away with a small stuffed penguin for his efforts.

"It's not that hard," he said of his winning underhand toss.

"All week long I've been getting more and more excited," he said.

The fair continues today from noon through 10:30 p.m.