I LOVE LOVE LOVE parades. I grew up in
In the perspective of "Largeness" Merrie Monarch Week is the biggest thing that happens in and around Hilo town. Hilo is a town that loves to celebrate for almost any reason and parades seem to bring out an abundance of fun loving characters. The Merrie Monarch Parade was no exception to the rule, in fact it brought out almost EVERYONE!
I was the designated "Parade Place Holder" for our group of friends because I come down to the farmer's market every Saturday very early anyway. I secured a spot on Kamehameha Drive downtown by 8:30 am. When I first set up our chairs and cooler, I wondered if I needed to be there so early, but within an hour the sidewalk was packed and it became quite a tailgaiting event. With cell phones our friends all joined us by the time the parade began at noon.
As usually happens at such events, we also made new friends. This is Chris who was visiting the island and met up with our buddy Keith at the health club earlier in the day.
Chris and Keith carrying their Huli Huli Chicken
Another good friend, Tom Lackey who I met through Punaweb and PunaOnline had a Huli Huli Chicken and Steak Stand set up at the parade. Even though Tom recently had a knee replaced, he started his day on his new knee at 5 am that day. I am sure he had an ice bag on it as soon as he got home. The chicken and steak were ONO (good)! Here is Tom at his station!
Our friend Noel choose to hike to the Filipino Restaurant for his stuffed squid.
The parade featured a lot of floats, a few bands and lots of beautifully decorated horses featuring a queen and princesses from each island.
The hand made leis for the horses were gorgeous, as were the queens and their handsome banner carriers.
What you have to understand about our little town is that it is like being back in the 1960's. Many reading this may not have been alive in the 1960's, but life was simpler then and life in Hilo is based on that essential principle of family, cultural history and life on an island thousands of miles from the closest land mass.
Here is an auntie and her cute dogs. Chihuahuas are very popular dogs here and these are adorable ones!
We Hawaiians are a peculiar people in that we don't necessarily want the changes that the fast paced American Life represents. Come visit us and see just how lovely life is in Hilo.