Aloha Festivals Floral Parade 2009 - Pt 1

September 27th, 2009

Aloha Festivals Floral Parade 2009 - Pt 1

If you participated in this year's 2009 Aloha Festivals Floral Parade through Waikiki or if you missed this spectacular iconic cultural display on Saturday it was captured by Pacific and will be made available via this blog, longer excerpts on, and on DVD provided by the Aloha Festivals organization.

If you've seen past parades you know that this magnificent display of floral mastery is spectacular. And you'll recall it was broadcast each year during half time at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.  It was a live postcard from Hawaii to the world that convinced thousands of undecided travelers to come to Waikiki.  Well, like everything else in the last decade, what used to be,  has changed.   The networks no longer broadcast this event but  has taken on the honor and will stream the 2009 event to the world. Stay with us.

According to festival organizers (volunteers),  merchants and corporate belts have tightened even more and one of the country's few remaining floral parades featuring Hawaiian style riders on horseback is struggling to stay alive.  Please support ALOHA FESTIVALS 2010.

Nearly every kid who grew up in Honolulu has attached some childhood memory to this parade.  While watching the beautiful women in their silk pa'u, maile, and ilima go prancing by on horses with manes braided and bridles decked with entwined fir, ti leaves, and baby roses I could not imagine Waikiki without this Aloha Festivals event.  To think they nearly cancelled this year's parade because they did not have enough community support, shame on us, we should all make contributions to next year's parade. Aloha Festivals  808. 391-8714  or

For folks who have never visited Waikiki during Aloha Festivals it is an island-wide string of events.  This is the parade down Kalakaua Avenue and it is the most colorful equestrian procession of pa'u riders and "extravagant floats with cascades of Hawaiian flowers, hula halau and marching bands" that sweeps through the heart of Waikiki.  It is a “must see” experience and this year because of budget cuts many of the flowers and greens were donated by growers and families. The floral parade was supported by countless individuals and a handful of participating corporate sponsors including Hawaiian Airlines, Mokulele Airlines, Office of Hawaiian Affairs and others whose banners we were sure to catch on camera because their dollars were much appreciated by all.  The 2009 theme was an homage to the Art of Hula and a special tribute to Kumu Hula, Maiki Aiu, one of hula's finest master teachers and performers.

We came on board very late in planning just a few days before the parade! so we jumped in and began documentation of one of Hawaii's oldest celebrations representing hundreds of hours of work by volunteers whose credits remain anonymous. We began filming on the traditional Friday night before the parade as an all-volunteer crew started to construct and dress floats, then back at 5am on Saturday morning of the event when the horses were gathered and adorned with beautiful hand woven floral wreaths, and the pa'u riders were costumed and mounted and the massive floats made their way to the mouth of Waikiki, 5 hours later, to begin their glorious ride down the boulevard to Waikiki.

This event was originally created in 1946 to mimic the Makahiki celebration (Hawaiian New Year)  honoring the Hawaiian god Lono.  Today Aloha Festivals celebrates the Makahiki season with events on six islands. So stay tuned for more video of the 2009 Aloha Festivals Floral Parade in Waikiki.  Mahalo to the Hawaiian Civic Clubs whose participation is the backbone of this parade and to the Mayor and the City & County of Honolulu, to Toni Lee (parade organizer extraordinaire), Blaine Kia, Murray Towill, Communications Pacific and Nichole Laberge, Rick Egged, P.Tomonari, Waikiki Business Plaza (for your bird's eye view), and the many big rig trucking companies and their drivers, and to the individuals and families who worked so hard to make this parade a beautiful experience.  Everyone please kokua to support the festival's fine efforts to keep Aloha in Waikiki for 2010!

The responsibility of shaping and sustaining Hawaii tourism doesn't fall exclusively on executives in the travel industry.  If we all volunteered a few hours to help next year with this parade through Waikiki (you'll love it, you'll see. There'll be plenty of hot cocoa!) this is what Aloha is all about and if this is what we're promising our visitors we ought to generate more of it ourselves.  Particularly in Waikiki.

This clip features the talented Melveen Leed, this year's Pa'u Queen, her riders; State Senator Brickwood Galuteria and radio personality Kimo Kahoano (who collaborate on a great radio program, “Nā ‘Ōiwi ‘Ōlino" - People Seeking Wisdom, on KKNE AM940).

This is one of many vignettes we'll be broadcasting over the next few weeks.  For the entire video vignette please visit and

Posted in 1 | 12 Comments »

12 Responses to “Aloha Festivals Floral Parade 2009 - Pt 1”

  1. Moke Young:


    What a beautifully written article and a vibrant message of "Aloha" that resonates clearly! Hana hou!

    Aloha or Love can dominate, sequester and or squash a bad vibe, soul or resentful voice like removing oxygen from the fire tetrahedron or triangle.

    My brother & sister in-law, Kaulana Young & Ann Ibarra, were part of the Pa'u cast for sometime and I would always be amazed since I was hoping to do the very same from when I was a kid viewing the parade on-sight and via television.

    I just met a family friend of Melveen Leed here in New Rochelle, NY three weeks ago and wrote about it in detail while quoting too, Kimo Kahoano, with his famous saying, "Aloha Week Friday, No Work Til Monday!"

    Brickwood Galuteria has been a favorite speaker of mine since I was sixteen as I would hear him speak at many events, and while deeply impressed by his expression, I hoped someday to do the same & with Charismatic Charm as was the case with Don Ho.

    I was connected through my friends Chucky Chock, Krash Kealoha and Mike Kaawa whom are from a tight knitted circle of folks whom possess a true sense of Aloha through music and where I got a lot of Mana from to be able to cope for so long living away while spreading Aloha every time I leave my home!

    Guy's like, Uncle Moe Keale, kept many spirits in this network so high with his Wisdom and Spirit of Aloha that was deep & sincere. For those whom knew Moe Keale, and whenever you imagine Aloha, just remember how he carried himself though life and you will be transformed with and ear-to-ear bicentennial smile!

    today, our Hawai'i Musicians, Artist's and Surfer's have been handed torches from Don Ho, Genoa Keawe and Duke Kahanmoku that need to be held by all of Hawai'i and during a time in history when it matters the most!

    Our kids need to get involved with their communities too and when they see their Kupuna out there, it will ignite an inferno necessary to preserve all things Hawaiian because when we keep it close to our chest, it will elusively vanish down the road.

    All of our Kupuna showed us how it's done too and there's really no excuse and perhaps a lack of gratitude for life?

    Aloha is so powerful amongst my surfer friends here that has taken a huge turn where a lot of energy has been channeled in the form of Aloha helping many whom suffer from Autism and the support groups that keep many above water!

    For me, I now understand that Aloha was given to me by Queen Liliuokalani as a "Gift" that was amplified by the Waikiki Beach Boy's through a kind soul named Alexander Hume Ford whom utilized the skill, talents and Aloha radiating from George Freeth and Duke Paoa Kahanmoku.

    Many never want to acknowledge those facts which is fine but let it be told that folks like Surfer's John "Squeeze" Kamana & Boogie Kalama shared their Aloha in the form of music that is a perfect carrier for imparting ones soul so full of Compassion, Love & Humility providing Gratitude that is the underlying foundation of this thing we call Aloha!

    Surfer's learn about love from their very first wave & music such a wonderful mechanism to impart ones soul in the pure & spiritual sense that every being can related directly to.

    I love the voices of Nalani, Angela & Lehua because it is full of Love or Aloha!

    You go Ladies! I met the three here in NYC through my brother Mana whom does their sounds; definitely the most harmonic voices in all of Hawai'i!


    Listen to Pua Maeole by John Kamana including others here:

    Star of Gladness by Boogie Kalama performed by IZ:

    After reading the above mentioned article and words from the mouth of Melveen Leed, my Hero, I am ready to Rock & spread some Aloha with a smile like Genoa Keawe!

    It's funny how things work and in a few minutes, I am headed to a village where Aloha dominates in the network of hard core surfer's and where the Mana from two huge vortexes erupt!

    Aloha is for real and a life source that can empower many no matter what the score may suggest!

    With Warm Regards,

    Moke Young

  2. elee:

    Aloha Moke,

    Thanks for the lovely comments and I will tell Brickwood, Kimo and Aunty Melveen to read your email as they are in NYC every now and then and should keep in touch. You do so much out there! One would never guess you're doing so much cultural stuff all the way from beautiful NYC. Stay well, and my very best, edgy

  3. Moke Young:

    Aloha Edgy!

    How do you do?

    I am hoping that you are in high spirits and your soul free to roam while continuing to share Hawaiian & worldwide grass root experiences.

    Mahalo's for the fine words because they are encouraging.

    I always wonder why I act the way I do when I can just keep my mouth shut and clam up. The other day as I was reunited with an old friend and my life long hero, Krashy Kealoha, I found that answer.

    During my teen years in Hawai'i, I supported the band's Akona and Brown Company & Krash was our manager, mentor, figure head and mastermind that kept all of us in check. We admired Krash for his intelligence, ethical ways, leadership ability, charisma and ability to communicate with his intense Spirit of Aloha.

    I modeled myself after Krash and used his influence to get me through the toughest times of my young life when I needed to go out on my own, work, study and help my Mom and brothers after my Dad left us.

    There are only a few others that I have met whom possessed the Mana of Krash during a rugged yet rich & adventurous path during the past 28 years and they are my dear friends;

    Eddie Brigati of the Young Rascals whom wrote Groovin & My Hawai'i that was documented during a flight to Honolulu in the late 1950's with his brother and Mom; an Italian lady from Garfield, NJ so full of Aloha whom insisted that my children rub and admire Eddies Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee trophy on her mantle.

    My Hawai'i popularized by the Krush:

    Jimmy Buffett my Surfer Bro:

    These two talented writers authored Hawaiian related tunes and are great role models.

    My wish is to see them with Krash Kealoha together laughing with one another and enjoying a Tiki Torch Night at Canoes along the Waikiki Shore during the Golden Hour.

    While losing a great mentor and inspiration in Krash, I was blessed to have been assisted by so many others along the way through this thing we call Aloha & especially because of the fine deeds by so many before us!

    The Aloha Spirit, Love or Pura Vida is what drives and fuels these folks and their love for Hawai'i & All its Peoples just fuels their life source or Pu'uwai.

    Aloha is the way to go!..............Titus Kinimaka

    Thank you!

    Moke Young

    PS..I forgot my friend Donald Takayama whom took me under his wing while living in Oceanside, CA. According to Junior Seau, Donald is the finest teacher or coach out there!

    Read about it here:

    I owe so much and hope to make a difference during the resurrection of the mighty Aloha Spirit that was presented to all by Queen Liliuokalani & the key to Hawaii's continued success during the economical recovery process.

  4. Roberto:

    cool blog

  5. dilandinga:

    I bookmarked this link. Thank you for good job!

  6. Abeniel:

    It is the coolest site, keep so!,

  7. Freak:

    I want to say - thank you for this!,

  8. Ibardodda:

    Very cute :-)))),

  9. Oceng:

    I bookmarked this link. Thank you for good job!,

  10. Miroiwyrar:

    Perfect work!,

  11. Polprav:

    Hello from Russia!
    Can I quote a post in your blog with the link to you?

  12. elee:

    Aloha Polprav, Yes and if you're interested in seeing more of the Aloha Festivals Floral Parade
    keep in touch. We put together a 60 mins piece for all the volunteers, the pa'u riders, kids in the bands...