Aloha Festivals party hits the streets today
Tonight's Downtown Ho'olaule'a has been cancelled.
By Catherine E. Toth
Advertiser Staff Writer
|In traditional Korean costumes, Young Mi Kim, left, and Denise Kang ride in the Korean Jaycee's float in last year's parade.
Advertiser library photo
5:30 p.m. today
Front steps and lawn of 'Iolani Palace
Aloha Festivals Floral Parade
9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday
Begins at Hobron Lane, travels along Kalakaua Avenue, ending at Kapahulu Avenue
Family Fun Day
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday Kapi'olani Park
589-1771, (800) 852-7690, www.alohafestivals.com
Back-to-school traffic jams, road construction work, the impending stress of the approaching holidays.
Enter Aloha Festivals, the 15-day mental distraction and annual thing-to-do.
The Aloha Festivals kick off with opening festivities today on the steps of 'Iolani Palace with the introduction of this year's O'ahu Royal Court.
Finally, the parade.
A tradition for 54 years, the Aloha Festivals Floral Parade is the third-most-popular parade in the country.
The four-hour parade begins at 9 a.m. Saturday from Hobron Lane, along Kalakaua Avenue, to Kapahulu Avenue. Nine mounted pa'u units, a marching and dance unit from Taiwan and several local beauty queens highlight the event, televised nationally on CBS on Thanksgiving Day.
Claude Onizuka, late astronaut Ellison Onizuka's brother, will serve as the parade's grand marshal. Navigator and educator Nainoa Thompson will be the ambassador of aloha.
The parade's endpoint, Kapi'olani Park, plays host to the festival's Family Fun Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with health and fitness displays, keiki carnival area and a Made With Aloha Marketplace.
Carnival treats, plate lunches, Hawaiian, Vietnamese, Chinese and American-style foods will be available for the active appetite.
Some other things to keep in mind:
- Time's running out. Island-by-island festival dates: O'ahu, today through Sept. 23; Big Island, today through Sept. 29; Moloka'i, Sept. 29-Oct. 6; Lana'i, Sept. 28-30; Kaua'i, Oct. 4-14; Maui, Oct. 13-27.
- The parade, which begins at 9 a.m., won't be seen from Ala Moana Beach Park. Stake out a spot in Kapi'olani Park instead.
- About those strollers: The Aloha Festivals strongly discourage the use of baby strollers at the Downtown Ho'olaule'a because of the size of the expected crowd. Who likes to get knocked in the heels, anyway?
- Get your red-hot ribbons: $5 (each island has its own); $25 for a collector set (eight buttons, each with a different island ribbon); $20 for super ribbon (one button, eight ribbons); available statewide at 7-Eleven stores, Aloha Airlines ticket offices, Bank of Hawaii branches, Safeway stores, Blockbuster stores.
- Got cheap parking? For the Downtown Ho'olaule'a: $2 parking at Aloha Tower Marketplace, Ali'i Place, Marin Tower, Harbor Court, Harbor Square, Bank of Hawaii and Pioneer Plaza. $3 at Chinese Cultural Plaza, Executive Centre, APCOA at King & Bethel, Bishop Square, Chinatown Gateway Plaza, Hale Pauahi, Marks Center and Pacific Guardian Center.