Gondolas get
an isle spin

Boats will take to the marina
at Hawaii Kai for an Italian fest

by Nancy Arcayna

For more than 900 years, gondolas have traversed Venice's waterways, conjuring romantic imagery of serenades at sunset or under starlight. Not all of us have the luxury of rushing off to Italy, but Hawaii Kai is aiming to offer similar charms with the launch of "Little Venice in Paradise."

The Italian gala features gondola-like boat rides throughout the Hawaii Kai marina. A few captains plan to dress up their boats for the occasion while donning gondolier garb such as a straw hat.

The fare for boat rides will be $1, with proceeds benefiting Kaiser High School.

The Hawaii Kai Shopping Center, Windward Boats of Kaneohe and Island Boats of Honolulu will present a boat display with water-ski and fishing boats, sailboats, kayaks, and more, all to "unite the new and seasoned residents of Hawaii Kai," according to area resident Murray Luther, one of the event organizers.

Italian melodies will set the scene as fair-goers participate in activities at area shopping centers, all connected by the waterways.

At Hawaii Kai Towne Center, "3 Brothers -- Mr. Pizza" will be singing and making hand-tossed pizzas, gyros, calzones, strombolis and other Italian favorites.

Papa John's hosts a pizza-eating contest at Koko Marina Shopping Center. There also will be Italian crafts at Koko Marina, including the creation of pasta jewelry.

'Little Venice in Paradise'

Where: Hawaii Kai Marina Shopping Centers
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow
Admission: Free; $1 for boat rides to the various shopping centers
Call: Hawaii Kai Shopping Center, 396-4402; Hawaii Kai Towne Center, 396-0766; Koko Marina Shopping Center, 395-4737

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