Pacific American-News Journal
Iulai-July 1996 Volume 2 Issue 7
Kamehameha Day Parade
You May Never See It Again!
by Pila Laronal
Last June 1995, Hale Pai ran a news story reporting the
possible end of the annual Kamehameha Day Parade. Well this year
in anticipation of this even having a final run, Hale Pai sent me
to Hawai`i to cover the event. The following story is about some
people who have been with the parade for over 20 years.
Kapiolani Park on the Diamond
Head side of Waikiki is where the parade ends and the
participants gather for rest, refreshments, and entertainment.
Kapiolani Park was quiet and serene. A few started to assemble
their portable hale's (tents), banquet tables holding food
warmers, an ample amount of chairs, and ice chests of all shapes
and sizes. A sign hung at the corner of each portable hale giving
people a chance to find their way. The Pa`u Queens of each island
had a portable hale, halaus, and others as well. They were well
equipped to handle all comers.
Over towards to parking lot more portable hales. I introduced
myself to a Mr. George Kaniho is in charge of costumes and
Properties (props). I asked George why he does this?, "Well
Pila this is one way I can give back to my Hawaiian community, I
volunteer it makes me feel good. Its a way of honoring our Ali`i
Nui King Kamehameha the Great. To me its a tradition, I'm proud
to be a Hawaiian and be part of this celebration."
Most everyone I met had the
same feelings. Ocean Kaowili started 16 years ago as a conch
shell blower. Ocean had this to say, "I first started when
someone asked me to blow the conch. So before the parade started
I asked where I was to stand? They said "Oh, you have to run
in front of the float"! They promised next year that I would
ride a horse. I've been here ever since.
Seventeen years of Pa`u Queens have been assembled for this
years parade anticipating their last ride.
Keahi Allen, program specialist for this years event is
looking for corporate sponsors. Allen says, "I remain
cautious but optimistic. Money is always a factor but if we can
assemble all the beneficiaries i.e. visitor industry leaders,
local businesses, which benefit from the parade, we can do it.
Gov. Ben Cayetano in April named three prominent Hawaiians,
Dr. Michael Chun, President of Kamehameha Schools, Momi Cazimero,
University of Hawai`i Board of Regent, and First Hawaiian Bank
Vice President Arnold Morgado, as chairman of the campaign, to
seek possible funding sources.
The Parade was colorful and festive as usual. All were in
great spirits, no one was sure if the Annual King Kamehameha Day
Parade would be back next year.
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Copyright © 1996 Hale Pai Pacific American-News Journal
Last modified: February 28, 1998
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