‘Calling all Immigrants’: Timely theme for Honokaa’s annual Peace Parade and Festival

  • This year will be the 12th annual Peace Parade in Honokaa. (COURTESY PHOTO/GLORY GUERPO)

HONOKAA — Building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico or deporting legal immigrants will be far from the conversation at this year’s Peace Day Parade &Festival in Honokaa Sept. 22.

“Calling all Immigrants” is this year’s theme. The Peace Committee chose it to show inclusivity and encourage groups and individuals to present creative expressions of the contributions of immigrants to the community, including history, culture, costume, music, food and general pride, such as flags and banners.


Anyone who wants to celebrate their ethnic culture may find many activities to their liking. The main event will be the Peace Day Parade that will entertain its way through town beginning at 11 a.m. with a “moving stage” spotlighting Taiko drummers, hula, bon dancers, cirque performers, singers and multicultural music and exhibits. It will end at the Honokaa County Sports Complex, where the Peace Day Festival will continue throughout the afternoon with food booths, silent auction, Taiko drummers, magic, community bon dancing and live music. Admission is free.

Applications are still being accepted for any groups interested in participating. To apply for a festival booth, visit www.peacedayparade.org

Other Peace Day events will include a student poster contest. Educators are invited to use this as an opportunity for student dialogue and reflection on their role in creating a peaceful future. Prizes will be awarded to the teachers that submit winning entries, with $50 for first place, $35 for second place and $25 for third place in each grade category: K-3, 4-6, 7-8 and 10-12. Winners will be announced at the Peace Day Parade &Festival. For questions, contact Patrick O’Kiersey at patrickmok1@hotmail.com.

The day before the parade, “Wine at Five” will begin at 5 p.m. at Cafe Il Mondo with free wine samples donated by Kamuela Liquors. Peace Day Parade t-shirts will be on sale and there will be live music from the New Dharma Band.

The Saturday following the parade, “A Day of Mindfulness” will be offered from 12:30-5 p.m. Sept 29 at Honokaa Hongwanji Social Hall. Led by Michele McDonald and Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey from Vipassana Hawaii, it will be an afternoon of intensive vipassana (insight) practice as participants learn to cultivate a relationship of care and understanding with the vast range of human experience, with periods of sitting and walking meditation framed by the Buddha’s teachings on liberation.

The event is free, but donations will be accepted.

Michele McDonald has taught insight meditation around the world for over 36 years, helping individuals find their own natural entry points into stillness and deep liberation. She is a frequent participant in Burma relief projects and studied extensively with Sayadaw U Pandita from Burma and Dipama from India.

Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey is a teacher of Vipassana meditation within the broader context of Theravada Buddhist tradition. His teaching aims to inspire the skills, determination, and faith necessary to realize the deepest human freedom. Jesse is McDonald’s student, trained and authorized by her to teach. His approach is rooted in the tradition of Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma. He is the resident teacher for Vipassana Hawaii and when off-island teaches mostly in the U.S. and Canada.


Space is limited. To pre-register for “A Day of Mindfulness,” email honokaamindfulness@gmail.com or call 775-1064

Info: For the latest updates on the Peace Day events, go to www.peacedayparade.org. For questions, call Miles Okumura at 640-4602