Monday, March 04, 2024 |
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The 36th annual Kailua-Kona Community Christmas parade delighted the crowd in 2022. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
‘Tis the season for the 37th annual Kailua-Kona Christmas Parade, a local favorite featuring music, dancing, floats, lights and of course, Santa.
The festivities will begin Saturday, Dec. 9 at 5 p.m. with this year’s theme being Tutu’s Kalikimaka, through the eyes of our keiki. Starting at the Kona Aquatics Center, the parade will travel south on Kuakini to Palani and makai to Alii Drive, ending at the Royal Kona Resort.
Six announcer stations will be set up along the route at Tony Honda, King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, YWAM Ships, Hulihee Palace, Hale Halawai and Lava Java.
As the sun sets over the bay, over 50 entries featuring close to 1,000 keiki, will light the heart of town for the hour-long parade.
Barbara Kossow, co-chair of the all volunteer parade committee will be honored as “Tutu Marshal” for her years of dedication and this being her last parade.
Kossow has been working on the parade committee since 1991 when she joined the Kona Rotary Club, spending countless volunteer hours organizing the Christmas and Fourth of July parades along with the fireworks display over Kailua Bay.
She has decided it is time to move on and pass the responsibility of two parades and a fireworks display to another organization.
“Kailua-Kona Community Parade Association will dissolve after this parade,” said parade co-chair Renee Kraft. “I can’t imagine doing this with anyone else. I will also be leaving. It’s an honor to have worked with her all this time.”
Kraft and Kossow admit it isn’t an easy job to put on the parades, but the work was well worth it.
“We obviously love it. We wouldn’t have done it this long if we didn’t. We love our community and we love putting the joy and smile on all the keiki faces for both the Fourth of July and Christmas Parade,” said Kraft. “We just need to move on. It will be sad to see this end but we want to encourage and pass the torch to somebody who wants to take this on.”
“It’s time to move on. I truly enjoyed doing this,” said Kossow. “Just to see the amount of people that come to see the parades, We all think about when we were a child, how we felt, during the holidays, and that’s what I see and that makes me happy.”
Kossow is confident a new association will be formed and parades will continue their cherished tradition in Kona Town.
“The right group will come along. Kona needs our parades,” she said.
Kossow promises this year’s parade will not disappoint.
“Come to the parade and feel the excitement,” she said.
For more information visit paradesinkona.com
Road Closures for the Kailua-Kona Christmas Parade
On Saturday, Dec. 9, the following roads will be closed from 4:45 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. for the Christmas Parade
Loloku Street at Kuakini Hwy.
Kaiwi Street at Kuakini Hwy.
Kuakini Hwy at the Palani Rd. intersection
Kahikina Ln. at Alii Dr.
Hualalai Rd. at Alii Dr.
Alii Dr at coconut grove marketplace and Walua Rd. at Alii Dr.
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