Help needed to save Aloha Festivals parade
A lack of money could force cancellation of the annual cavalcade through Waikiki.
Scrubbing a parade that has enlivened Waikiki for more than 60 years would be a shame, but that might happen if the Aloha Festivals cannot raise $50,000 in quick time.
Even though the tourism industry hasn't seen robust revenues and growth in recent months, canceling the highlight of the festivals would not be good for the islands' public relations. Businesses that have thrived on the tourist dollar might consider lending a hand, joining with others to raise the money.
The festivals' activities have already been cut down, offering events only on Oahu when in previous years, all the islands featured multiple activities from concerts, singing and poke contests to Hawaiian arts and historical displays. They attracted residents as well as visitors, allowing an opportunity to socialize. The parade shows off floral creativity in the floats, marching bands, dance with hula halau performances and the tradition of pa'u riding with colorful representatives of each island.
The festivals organization needs $50,000 to receive a full contribution of $200,000 from the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the agency funded by a tax on hotels and other visitor accommodations to promote the industry. The parade had been supported for the last three years by Hawaiian Airlines, but the group has been unable to find a new sponsor.
The parade that travels down Kalakaua Avenue from Ala Moana beach to Kapiolani Park has been presented every year since 1946, except for 2001 after the terrorist attacks. It would be unfortunate for the tradition to come to an end.
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