“We have a lot of craft vendors, food vendors, and we couldn't even have the bouncers for the keiki,” said Bob Lormand, who organizes the Wahiawa Pineapple Festival. He was stunned when his permit application was denied.
“We didn't know what was going to happen,” he said.
In July, the city adopted a law to bar all commercial activity at Kailua and Kalama beach parks.
Mayor Kirk Caldwell said on Tuesday the previous administration determined the language in Bill 11 actually barred commercial activity at all city parks and beaches.
“It was clear to me it was really a misinterpretation,” said Caldwell.
“Due to the broad interpretation by the Carlisle administration we ran into some problems,” said city councilman Ikaika Anderson, who drafted Bill 11.
Caldwell says he and city lawyers have concluded nonprofits can still qualify for a permit, as long as making money is secondary to providing a community service.
“Our project is about helping the community,” said Dawn Dasilveiera, who organizes the Haleiwa Arts Festival.
“It's an important event for Wahiawa. We like to share our story, our unique pineapple heritage,” said Lormand.
“We still went forward hoping this would be the case,” saidDasilveiera.
She said they will re-apply for a permit, and expect the Haleiwa Arts Festival will go on in July.
Lormand said the Pineapple Festival will likely be pushed back to August.
It's an inconvenience, they said, but better than an outright ban.
“They're great events and it would be really sad to see them not go forward,” said Caldwell.