Parades a-plenty promote holiday cheer

The holiday season officially is here, and that means a plethora of parades, starting with the Lehua Jaycees’ 29th annual Hilo Holiday Parade at 5:30 p.m. Saturday in Hilo.

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The holiday season officially is here, and that means a plethora of parades, starting with the Lehua Jaycees’ 29th annual Hilo Holiday Parade at 5:30 p.m. Saturday in Hilo.

“The parade route is gonna be the same as the Merrie Monarch Parade. It’s about a 3-mile circuit,” said Allyson Cortez, Lehua Jaycees’ parade chairwoman.

Staging is on Piopio Street by the Wailoa Center. The parade will turn left onto Pauahi Street, right on Kilauea Avenue, continue onto Keawe Street, turn right on Waianuenue Avenue, right onto Kamehameha Avenue, and back to the starting point.

The streets will start closing about an hour before parade time for staging to begin and cross streets will be closed progressively as the parade approaches, Cortez said.

“We’re gonna be doing it a little differently this year,” Cortez said. “The theme is ‘Light the Town with Hilo Memories.’ Hilo is really local, so we want to play it up with the local Santa, with the surf shorts, the aloha shirt, rubber slippers — the Santa’s in Hawaii thing, not the traditional Santa. We’re actually bringing him out on a canoe. The canoe will be donated by the Kamehameha Canoe Club and we’ll have it up on a float. He’s gonna be sitting there and there’ll be paddlers.”

Other highlights include Hawaii Electric Light Co.’s Big Ben train and four marching bands, including the Hawaii County Band.

As for new entries, Cortez is excited about the addition of the Paradise Roller Girls.

Entries will be taken up to parade time. Email hiloholidayparade@gmail.com for an entry form.

The 24th annual Pahoa Holiday Parade is at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 6 on Pahoa Village Road in Pahoa. Main Street Pahoa Association Chairman Mark Hinshaw said the road will be closed at 9 a.m.

“It’s gonna start at (Pahoa) High School this year. Normally, it starts at Apaa Road, which is closed (except to residents) because of the lava,” Hinshaw said. “It will work its way north on Pahoa Village Road to Post Office Road.”

Mayor Billy Kenoi is the grand marshal, and Hinshaw said he expects the parade will be the town’s biggest ever.

“We have people coming from all over the place to be in the parade,” he said. “I think people just want to show there’s community spirit toward Pahoa. It’s amazing.”

Call Nancy at 965-2729 for entries or more information.

That same evening in paniolo country, the 54th annual Waimea Christmas Twilight Parade is at 5:30 p.m. This year’s theme is “Our Kupuna … Our Kuleana.”

The second oldest Christmas parade in Hawaii goes through the heart of Waimea and Santa has promised to visit with keiki afterward at Parker Ranch Center’s Fireside Food Court. All are invited to participate in the parade and Big Island Giving Tree donation collection. Roads will be closed between 5:30 and 6:45 p.m.

For more information and parade applications, rules and more, visit waimeatown.org.

Waikoloa Lions Club’s 10th annual Christmas Parade is the first of three on Dec. 13.

The parade starts at 10 a.m. at the top of Paniolo Road and finishes at Waikoloa Baptist Church, where a Keiki Fest will be hosted afterward. For parade entry forms, call Sue McCord at 989-0215.

The Kailua-Kona Christmas Parade is at 5 p.m. and is the island’s largest, according to Dr. Clifford Kopp, a Kona dentist and parade organizer.

“We get 20,000 people, no matter what,” he said. “We have 2,200 people in the parade, 80 entrants. We have nine announcer stations and we’re on live TV this year for the first time. We’ll be on Channel 53 and we’ll also be streaming live on the Internet at naleo.tv.”

The parade will start at Kekuaokalani Gym and proceed along Kuakini Highway, down Palani Road, along Alii Drive to Royal Kona Resort. The road closures start at 4:45 p.m., Kopp said.

“We’re running the food drive for the Food Basket,” he said. “It’s an 11-supermarket food drive. We’ll be in the parade collecting food, along with Royal Hawaiian Movers. We have a hotel rice drive as part of it.”

Kopp said area Rotary Clubs contributed more than $7,000 dollars to the effort.

“The (Food Basket) shelves are empty right now due to Iselle and the lava,” Kopp said. “You go there and look for protein, you’re not gonna find it. Rice, you’re not gonna find it. There are a lot of folks, including the elderly and the keiki who are in need right now.”

For entries and more information, call Chauna Reese at 313-0025.

The 11th annual Keaau Community Christmas Light Parade is at 5:45 p.m. on Keaau-Pahoa Road.

“This year’s theme is ‘A Sporty Christmas,’” said Bill Walter, president of W.H. Shipman. “The grand marshals are the (East Hawaii) Pony League baseball team that won the world championship. It’s great to be able to honor these guys, given particularly the theme, which was chosen in advance.”

Also scheduled to appear “barring any conflict,” according to Walter, is newly elected Gov. David Ige, who takes office Monday.

To get an electronic copy of the entry packet, email sgresswell02@gmail.com.

And in Ka‘u’s coffee belt, the Pahala Christmas Parade is at 1 p.m. Dec. 14. The parade, with all the character and charm of the former sugar plantation village, starts at the old armory and goes to Ka‘u Hospital, then back to Holy Rosary Catholic Church for refreshments.

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

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

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