Hawaiian dancers highlight community picnic theme [Russett]

On June 8, the Russett Community Association held its annual community picnic.

This year's event encompassed a Hawaiian theme and just like on the island, upon arriving, everyone received a flower lei and was greeted with an "aloha."

More than 250 Russett residents and guests attended this tropical luau with its Hawaiian dancers, a fire knife dancer, a photo opportunity with Hawaiian garb, a scrumptious buffet provided by Putting on the Ritz Caterers and shaved ice provided by Kona Ice. All made for an exciting time. Arts and crafts were the delight for Sophia Juico and Jesse Malhotra. The moon bounce was exciting for Cara, daughter of Russett Community Association President Rob Newman and his wife, Julie. An ultra fun game of island bingo kept everyone going and the two big bingo winners were Evan Gosnell who won two games with prizes of a cooler with snacks inside and a beach towel and mat, and Blair Brantley who won a picnic blanket and gift card. Seventeen-year Russett resident Deborah Jones enjoyed the festivities as did Neighborhood 14B representative Julian King and his wife, Linda, and my husband, Russett Community Association Vice President Tim Reyburn, along with Russett residents Matt and Robin Groom.

As everyone ate and talked, the piece de resistance commenced. There was a sudden hush among the crowd as the Hawaiian dancers made their grand entrance. Hawaiian music played as the dancers told the traditional island stories through hand gestures and dance. Children in attendance were asked to come up front and learn how to do the traditional hukilau dance. Hukilau is a way of fishing, which was invented by ancient Hawaiians and this technique has been used for centuries. Smiles and plenty of picture taking ensued as well as loud applause at the end, which added to this already festive event. A big Russett "mahalo" (thank you) goes out to all the participants and volunteers for making this a spectacular and memorable event.

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