Concluding the 2017 annual Aloha Festival, which included the Royal Ceremony on September 9th and the Waikiki Hoolaulea on the 23rd, the Floral Parade is a gigantic procession that closes off the entirety of Kalakaua Avenue.
The parade, which will last from 9:00 a.m. on Saturday until noon, proceeds from Ala Moana Beach Park, through Waikiki to end in Kapiolani Park.
The main attractions marching down Kalakaua Ave will be floral floats, equestrians, and marching bands, each having its own competition for special awards and recognition in the parade.
The marching bands are from various local high schools—2016’s winners were Moanalua, Kamehameha, and Kahuku High Schools in first, second, and third place, respectively.
The namesake of the parade, the floral floats, are crafted, run, and displayed by local companies, organizations, and hula halau (schools). Three awards are given out: The Governor’s, Mayor’s, and President’s Awards, which last year went to the Aloha Chinese Concept Association, the Ka Pa Nani ‘O Lilinoe by Kumu Lilinoe Lindsey, and the Keali’ika’apunihonua Ke’ena A’o Hula led by Kumu Hula Leimomi Ho, respectively.
The most spectacular attraction in the parade is the equestrian show.
Coming from a long-standing Hawaiian tradition of horseback riding beginning with the paniolo, the Pa’u riders are women who wear long skirts (pāʻū) and decorate their mounts with colorful floral arrangements.
Note: If you’ve read our article on the Hawaiian language, you should know the difference between the Hawaiian words “pau” (finished) and “pāʻū” (a long skirt). Review the article if you’re still confused 🙂
Five different awards are given to the pau riders, who are organized into eight groups, one for each populated Hawaiian island.
If you can’t make it to Kalakaua Avenue on Saturday, September 30th at 9:00 a.m., don’t worry! You can watch the event live on Channel808, which will be streaming the parade on their website.