By Rich Figel
One of our show sponsors, Waimea Valley, temporarily closed down the park as of Jan. 6 and plans on reopening Sat., Feb. 1. They will be doing rock slope scaling near the front entrance as a safety precaution while checking for stability of other rock formations and slopes that may require scaling measures. In addition, Executive Director Richard Pezzulo showed me some other things they're working on for the new year, which we'll be on the February episode of Career Changers TV.
First, the Proud Peacock restaurant should be open in February now that they have hired a new manager to run the once-popular eatery. He says it will be somewhere between casual and fine dining, with an emphasis on fresh local produce and meats. They're still working on completing the renovations, so we weren't able to get any photos or video of what the completed restaurant will look like yet.
Another new thing they're going to unveil is a hula competition in their recently renovated amphitheater. The twist is men and women will be competing against each other, which is how they used to do it there at Waimea Valley years ago. Besides that, Richard says they're looking into starting a North Shore film festival. Plus, they'll be continuing the summer concert series, which turned out to be a big hit with locals and visitors last year. Instead of taking the "Generations" theme approach though, they will use specific musical instruments as the theme for the three concerts. I'm guessing slack key guitar, ukelele... not sure what the third will be. Hawaiian steel guitar, perhaps?
During the temporary closing, their Haliewa Farmers' Market will continue on Thursdays from 3 to 7 PM in the front part of the park instead of the Pikake Pavilion. One of Richard's major goals for 2014 is to get locals to book the pavilion and other facilities at Waimea Valley for special events such as weddings, baby luaus, graduation parties and even business meetings or retreats. So far, he says it's been a bit of a tough sell because many people haven't considered the valley as an option before, and a lot of big family gatherings are planned long in advance. But if you or someone you know has a large party coming up, give them a call -- they're now offering all-inclusive packages to fit different budget ranges without nickle and dime add-on charges for every little thing. Here's their website link.
Don't forget to check out the new January episode of Career Changers TV! Really good stories on the Hawaii Youth Symphony, Ashley Merryman's "Top Dog - The Science of Winning and Losing" book, plus a piece on Roberta Oaks and her cool, retro-ish fashion boutique in Chinatown. For daily viewing times and links to the CCTV YouTube Channel, please visit www.CareerChangers.TV.