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Honokaa to celebrate peace with fun events

The United Nations International Day of Peace and global ceasefire is officially Sept. 21. However, on Hawaii Island Honokaa town celebrates peace with a week-long series of thoughtful, educational and fun events.

Sponsored by the Peace Committee of Honokaa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, activities for all ages include a student poster contest and gallery reception at C&J Woods, book talks, a 5K Run for Peace, meditation workshop, a large community festival with food booths, live music, magic, cirque entertainment and bon dancing. The highlight of the day is the Peace Day Parade, now in its seventh year, starting at a new time, 4 p.m.

Also new this year is “Peace in the Streets,” produced in partnership with the Honokaa Business Association and Mamane Street merchants. Happening just prior to the parade start, Peace in the Streets offers live music on four stages, a scavenger hunt through town with prizes for winners, Jump and Slide inflatable bouncer and train rides for keiki.

Special guests of the Peace Committee are members of the Sasaki ohana from Japan, peace advocates related to Sadako Sasaki (“Sadako and the Thousand Cranes”), a little girl who became a peace icon after the bombing of Hiroshima. Before she died at age 12 of radiation-caused leukemia, Sadako and her friends folded origami cranes, each with a wish for peace and healing.

Earlier this year, the Peace Committee launched the “199,000 Cranes” project, to gather 199,000 origami cranes in the next 12 months (one for each victim of Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings). In 2014, the cranes will be sent to Nagasaki and Hiroshima (to be placed with Sadako’s statue in Memorial Peace Park).

Groups and individuals committed to donating 1,000 cranes can apply for an invitation to participate in the parade at Others can volunteer to carry and display cranes during the festivities.

The seventh annual Parade & Festival for the United Nations International Day of Peace are presented by the Peace Committee of the Honokaa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple in cooperation with the United Nations and numerous community organizations. The Peace Committee continues to seek additional support and information on sponsorship, contributions (including Silent Auction items) and purchasing collectible 2013 T-shirts is available at or by email

Friends of Honokaa Library are presenting “Read for Peace,” on Thursday at 5 p.m. at the library, with good conversation over light refreshments, and music by the New Dharma Band. The book selection for 2013 is the intense historical novel, “Sarah’s Key,” by Tatiana de Rosnay. Find more info at

“Peace in the Streets,” on Peace Day this Saturday from noon to 3:30 p.m., early Peace Day birds can enjoy in-town activities for the whole family, a scavenger hunt with great prizes including $100 grand prize, Jump & Slide inflatable bouncers, continuous live music up and down Mamane Street and more.

Plan to “Run for Peace” on Saturday as well; to register arrive at 2:30 p.m. for a fun run/walk through town, just before the Peace Day Parade starts. A 5K route begins at Honokaa High and Intermediate School which takes a long loop out toward Waipio Valley and back. The cost is $25 per person, which includes a Peace Day T-shirt with cash prizes to be awarded to the division winners. To register or to learn more, please check out

Stepping off at 4 p.m. on Saturday is the seventh annual Peace Day Parade celebrating the United Nations International Day of Peace. This year’s highlights include clowns, unicyclists, stilt-walkers and costumed cirque performers from Hiccup Circus, colorful Prince Dance, the dynamic drums of Ryukyukoku Daiko and thousands of origami cranes to honor the Sasaki family, special guests of the Peace Committee.

The Peace Day Festival follows in the County Sports Complex, with food booths, live entertainment onstage, ZooChoo train rides, Jump & Slide, a silent auction and a large community bon dance for everyone to join. This is a drug- and alcohol-free event. No coolers please. Find all information about the different events planned at the Peace Day Parade website:


The Ahualoa Community Association general meeting will be held on Thursday, Sept. 26, at 7 p.m. at NHERC, North Hawaii Education and Resource Center. Joining the meeting are Councilwoman Valerie Poindexter and Community Policing Officer Joseph Passmore. Please come and invite your friends and neighbors.


Honokaa High & Intermediate School has a great team that competes each at the Special Olympics where they win many medals. A fundraiser is being held today at Hilo Walmart for Special Olympics-East Hawaii. A Pizza Hut or Taco Bell coupon will be given for your donation. Donate $25 to get a Cop on Top visor or cap; $20 to get a Cop on Top T-shirt; $10 includes entry to win a $200 Walmart gift card or $5 includes entry to win a $100 gas card.

Thank you to these sponsors: Walmart, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Kuhio Grille, Don’s Grill, Cousins, Maona’s, Hawaiian Style Café, Domino’s Pizza, McDonald’s and the fine men and women from the Hawaii Police Department. For more information, or to donate, please contact Carey Uchida, area director, at 990-5751, or fax 935-1968 (Special Olympics, East Hawaii, P.O. Box 7265, Hilo HI 96720.)

Carol Yurth’s column is published every Sunday and spotlights activities on the Hilo-Hamakua coast. She welcomes items for her column. Reach her by mail (46-1250 Kalehua Road, Honokaa HI 96727) at least 10 days before the requested publication date, call her at 775-7101, or e-mail


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