Tuesday | January 16, 2018
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Parades a-plenty herald the holidays

Today marks the beginning of the holiday season, and ’tis the time for food, family, shopping — and parades.

The parties on pavement start Saturday with the 32nd Downtown Hilo Christmas Light Parade, presented for the third year by the Hilo Downtown Improvement Association.

This year’s theme is “Christmas Parade of Lights,” and the parade starts promptly at 6 p.m. at the corner of Kamehameha Avenue and Pauahi Street.

The parade is the same route as usual, but running counter-clockwise, as opposed to the clockwise parades of years past, said Carlene Wolf, a HDIA board member. That means the floats, marching bands, beauty queens in convertibles and Santa Claus will start by heading northwest on Kamehameha Avenue.

“The judging station is at the (Mooheau Park) bus terminal, and it’s a light parade. T &T Electric put up the holiday lights downtown to decorate,” Wolf said.

Trophies, donated by Wilson’s Trophies, will recognize the best large float, best small float, best large marching unit and best small marching unit.

After passing in review for the judges, parade participants will make left turns on Waianuenue Avenue and Keawe Street, continue on Kilauea Avenue, and then make a final left turn onto Pauahi Street to complete the three-mile route.

One surefire attraction — other than Santa — is the Hilo High School Vikings football team, fresh from its 35-19 drubbing of Damien Saturday night at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu to capture the Division I state championship.

The grand marshal is Debbie Maiava, owner of Ken’s House of Pancakes and Ponds Hilo, and one of the business folks who stepped up in 2015 after the Lehua Jaycees pulled out of organizing the annual event due to membership and money woes.

“She saved the Christmas parade two years ago with her $1,000 donation,” Wolf said, and added that the humble Maiava almost declined the honor, downplaying her role in preserving a significant piece of holiday cheer for Hilo’s keiki and keiki-at-heart.

“The community really comes together for this parade,” Wolf said.

Wolf said the biggest expense for the parade is for funding special-duty police officers to secure the parade route and direct traffic, because officers on duty can’t be used for those functions.

As usual, the streets along this parade route, and the other parades, as well, will be closed to traffic for the safety of parade participants and the public, and the event will take place, rain or shine.

“E ho‘ala hou ‘o Pahoa” — “Pahoa rising” — is the theme of the 2017 Pahoa Holiday Parade, at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, on Pahoa Village Road through the heart of Pahoa town.

“It’s my intention to make it more and more Hawaiian,” said Mark Hinshaw, immediate past president of the Mainstreet Pahoa Association, the parade organizers. “Like having Koa Puna as the lead motorcycle brigade going through the town. By always having the Royal Order of Kamehameha be the lead contingent in the parade. They go in front of the color guard. And they are doing an oli (chant) with Kua O Ka La (public charter) school to, basically, bless the town, bless the parade in Hawaiian.”

Grand marshal this year is Aunty Madie Greene, the “unofficial mayor of Pahoa.”

Pahoa Village Road, the main street through town, will be closed from Apaa Road to Pahoa High and Intermediate School at 9 a.m.

And parents can also take keiki photos with Santa free at Savio Realty’s Pahoa office after the parade.

Entry fee is $25, free for groups of school-age keiki. Applications are available at Savio Realty or Pahoa Used Books and Video. The deadline is Friday (Nov. 24).

The 57th Annual Waimea Christmas Twilight Parade will roll through town from 5:30-6:45 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2. This year’s theme is “Truckers Light the Town.”

According to the Waimea Community Association, the 56-year-old Paniolo Country tradition is to “remind ourselves to be thankful for all we have and to reach out and support everyone in the community — no one left behind — during this season of love and aloha.”

Mamalahoa Highway through the town’s center will be closed to accommodate the parade, which will begin on the east (Hilo) end of historic Church Row Park and turn right onto Mamalahoa Highway through the town’s center, and making a final right turn onto Lindsey Road at the main intersection, passing Parker School and disbanding in Waimea Park.

Waimea’s parade also features 10 narrator stations along the way, sponsored by businesses and churches.

Three parades will pound Big Island pavements on Saturday, Dec. 9 — one in the morning and the others in the evening.

The 12th Annual Waikoloa Village Christmas Parade and Keiki Fest, sponsored by the Waikoloa Lions Club and Waikoloa PTSA, will begin at 10 a.m. at the corner of Waikoloa and Paniolo roads, proceeding on Paniolo to Waikoloa School, which will be closed from 10-11 a.m.

The Snow King or Queen, winner of a Lions Club essay contest with a college scholarship prize, will be featured in the parade along with dignitaries, local businesses and cars.

The Keiki Fest will follow the parade from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the school. It features free food and games for keiki, and vendors for adults. Keiki who attend may enter a drawing for a bicycle and other prizes.

To enter the parade, call Sue McCord at 989-0215.

The theme for this year’s annual Kailua-Kona Christmas Parade is “The Magic of Christmas — Kona Style!”

The parade starts at 5 p.m. on Dec. 9 at the county’s Kekuaokalani Gym next to the Kona Aquatic Center, proceeds south on Kuakini Highway, turns right on Palani Road and left to enjoy Kailua Town’s oceanfront glory along Alii Drive to Walua Road, just past Coconut Grove Marketplace.

This year’s grand marshal is “Uncle Bo” Campos, president of the legendary Kai ‘Opua Canoe Club and Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association’s race commissioner.

Deadline to apply is Friday, Dec. 1. Applications and information are available at paradesinkona.com.

The 14th Keaau Annual Christmas Light Parade is slated for 5:45-7 p.m. Dec. 9 on Keaau Pahoa-Road. Choirs will start caroling at 5:30 p.m., and the parade will wind through Keaau village. This year’s theme is “Paniolo Christmas,” a nod to the town’s ranching history.

Sharing the grand marshal convertible is the husband-and-wife duo of Bill Walter, president of W.H. Shipman Ltd., and Adella Walter, who has been instrumental in helping organize the parade since its inception.

Monica Macanas, one of the organizers, said the Keaau Christmas Parade Committee has given the community “a magical night where people of all ages can enjoy an evening of pure Christmas joy,” with bright lights, choirs, bands, floats and decorated and classic cars.

And in Ka‘u’s coffee belt, the Pahala Christmas Parade is at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10. The parade, with all the character and charm of the historic former sugar plantation village, starts at the old armory and goes to Ka‘u Hospital, then back to Holy Rosary Catholic Church for refreshments.

For entries or more information, call Eddie Andrade at 928-0808.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

 

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