Hilo’s Parade of Parades
Monday Musings by Melinda M.
Hilo’s Merrie Monarch Parade is the best in the state, hands down. It’s got bands, it’s got community groups, it’s got the royal court – people from the community who are playing the roles of King David Kalakaua and Queen Kapiolani – and it’s got the stunning pa`u riders. But this year it had way, way more. How do I know? Because my daughter’s Tahitian troupe was Number 100 – the last float/entrant in the parade line!
What an adventure that was – showing up at 9:15 for a parade start time of 10:30 and we didn’t get on the parade route until 12:15 – long enough to have several of the first entrants double back on us. That’s how we got to watch at least part of the parade!
It’s so much fun being IN a parade and picking out many, many familiar faces among the hundreds we’ve never seen before. Watching the small kids get up and shake their hips to the irresistible beats of our Tahitian drums and everyone clapping and yelling their chee-hu’s … well maybe that was just me yelling!
For this parade, plenty of people have a whole set up — a pop-up tent, chairs, coolers, blankets and toys for the kids – and they are there at “their” spot from about 8 a.m. or earlier. This time there were even vendors set up along the parade route selling much-needed shave ice on what turned out to be a hot, hot day.
It’s such a wonderful way to end a spectacular and festive week (see “When Hilo Hums”). It feels like everyone who’s here is family and it’s our great big send off to each other until next year. If you haven’t been yet, or haven’t been in a while, I definitely recommend it.