Note: Hale Pai is no longer being published. These archives of passed issues will remain available as long as there is interest. - Courtesy of San Jose Web

 

Hale Pai
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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