Thursday, September 30, 2010

Maui County Parade begins to Open the 88th Maui County Fair

Practically on the heals of taking my Grandson to last weekend's Maui Electric/Maui United Way/Kaanapali Resorts 2nd Annual Tilapia Fishing Contest and the Sunday Performance on Oahu of the Kaneohe Air Show featuring the Blue Angels, Red Bull's Aerobatic Helicopter, Paragliders and Stunt Plane, among many other exciting planes, including a Rapture Jet from Langley Virginia, I am know listening to the sounds of the Maui County's 88th Fair opening. The sound of Generators on floats, Marching Bands Warming up, Sirens as the road is cleared on Kaahumanu Avenue and the voice of Uncle Sol Hoopii's Falsetto singing in the background.

Living right above the Fair and Parade route, I not only can hear everything, but tonight and the next three nights I will hear and see the lights of the Fair going on well into the night.

My Daughter and Grandkids are already positioned at the parade's ending spot, where after watching the parade they will be able to go straight in to all the rides, people, entertainment, people, food booths and did I mention people?

I can smell the Teriyaki cooking from my backyard as I write this. Despite the Hazy Cloudy Day with intermittent Rain, it's as if Akua has lifted the rains and held back the clouds so that the Parade and Fair will be a big success.

Kaahumanu Avenue is lined with spectators with their tents, coolers, umbrellas, as the Keikis run wild in anticipation. Thoughts of the Parade and then the Fair after have them worked up into a frenzy.

88 years ago, 1922 the Maui County Fair started. Back then Maui just barely had become a Territory of the United States when the Congress amended the Organic Act and allowed Hawaii in.

As a Territory of the United States life changed. Now the law allowed for Hawaii Corporations to own up to a 1000 acres. The Prince, Jonah Kuhio Kalania'ole of Hawaii died. Harry Baldwin completed his term as a Delegate to Congress. By July of 1922 Congress enacted the Hawaiian Homes Commission and the late Queen Lili'uokalani's former home called Washinton Place, was opened as an Executive Mansion for the Territorial Governors.

The First County Library was Established and the Maui Electric Company bought out the second Wailuku and Makawao Gas and Electricity Franchise from D.C Lindsay. Also in 1922, the survey was completed and the Board was to allow an extension of the Lower Pa'ia Transmission Line.

With the Consumer's Electric Voltages running around 90 to 100 volts, and the Electric System now considered behind the times by about four years, it was decided to raise the Transmission Line Voltage from it's 2300 volts it had been running at, to 6600 volts.

Also completed in 1922 was the Armory, the Maui County Hospital, and the Wailuku Show House. Closing out 1922, Maui saw several new residential homes built, Maui Electric added 180 new customers and even with a drop in the Electric Rates, Maui Electric saw a rise in revenue. Lighting accounted for 16 percent, power usage by 69 percent and Electric Appliances and Merchandise revenues rose by 450 percent. Maui was starting to grow and Electricity was a very big part of the growth.

The Sugar Plantations of Maui Agricultural Company and HC&S grew and added Generation capability, while installing new pipes to eventually bring online a 3600 Kilowatt Hydro-Electric Plant. With the growth HC&S decided to sell it's 500 shares of Maui Electric Stock and purchased $10,000 worth of Maui County Fair and Racing Associations bonds at six percent, helping to kick start the new Fair Grounds.

And now 88 years later I sit with my laptop in my backyard as evening comes, typing this blog across the internet through a multitude of unknown Communications lines, Computers to some central Server owned by Google. My BlackBerry Cellular Telephone sits beside me beckoning me to pay attention to the many, many emails and reminders it has collected throughout the day. The sound of people and children scream in the distance as their electric powered rides in the Fairs Amusement Park do their best to scare them silly.

Soon the descending darkness will fall and with the sounds of music and people on loud speakers the Fair Grounds will be visible for miles from all the lights used both for seeing and lighting all the rides.

I wonder how much power the Fair consumes in these four days? Probably more than most of Maui in 1922.

If I were to go to the front of my house and look real good, I might even see, running from halfway down the slopes of Haleakala in Kula to the Kihei-Wailea area, Oprah Winfrey's new driveway that runs literally from almost the ocean to her home in Keokea, formerly the Silver Sword Ranch owned by the Thompson Family. She pulled off a road in a short period and it seems nobody even noticed it until about the last few days. I haven't seen it in any of the News Media at all. A major property purchase and contractor job and yet it was done so fast that it hardly became known, but it is visible to those that look up from Kihei.

It's amazing mostly because when Ulupalakua Ranch shut down their road from their ranch down to Wailea for public use due to liability concerns, nearly 30 years ago, the State of Hawaii and Maui County have tossed the responsibility of a new road back and forth. Neither wanted the liability or expenses, although countless thousands of dollars have been spent on engineering and many hours of hearings have taken place to try and decide how and where a new road could be built. So Oprah did in a fraction of the time what the Government couldn't and still hasn't done for the past 30 years.

Well enough of that, the night is falling and the Fair is a buzz, the Parade is still going with horns honking and people talking loudly from the floats and I will move on to other work I need to do before bed and another day of work.

Aloha Ahiahi and A Hui Hou Kakou

Jimmy Nicks

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