Bands marched while floats paced their way through the rows of thousands of people that lined up at the sidewalks of Waikīkī to celebrate this year’s Aloha Festivals Floral Parade.
Aside from all the entertainment however, is a purpose that is deeply embedded in the lively event.
“The parade is an educational tool as well to spread the knowledge and to enrich people’s lives,” says Toni Lee, Chairwoman of the Aloha Festivals Floral Parade. “We thought then about honoring Kamehameha Schools for the 125th anniversary, which really ties in because Kamehameha, for 125 years has continued to teach and spread the knowledge and to enrich the community and their students.”
Featuring a traditional ahupuaʻa setting, the Kamehameha float showcased the many resources that make the ahupuaʻa a self-sustaining entity from mauka to makai, including its people. Hundreds of volunteers worked endlessly over a three-month period to bring color to the float.
“The theme of our float is ʻKuʻu Home Kulaiwi Aloha,’ which means ʻmy beloved home,’” says Kirra Downing, Public Relations Specialist for Kamehameha Schools. “It was designed by Robin Racoma and kind of brought to life by Nuʻu Atkins.”
“He comes up with the concept normally, and I put his ideas on paper and we take it from there,” says Robin Racoma, who is the graphic designer of the float.
And from paper to the streets of Waikīkī, the Kamehameha float’s apperance brought delight to the many attendees.
“The payment is when you see all the smiles on people’s faces and how everybody’s all excited,” says Lee.
However, the biggest smile was that of Pauahi, whose legacy remains the base of Kamehameha Schools’ cultural and educational foundation, as her grace shined down on Kamehameha Schools that day.