Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Merrie Monarch parade in Hilo, Hawaii.

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One of the largest and most colorful parades to attend in Hawaii is the annual Merrie Monarch Parade in Hilo, Hawaii. This beautiful parade caps a week-long celebration of hula events all around Hilo and celebrates hula as the basis of each participating entrant to the event. This year’s parade with over 170 participants was the largest number of groups active with the celebration.

Along with the usual bands, civic groups and clubs, the Merrie Monarch parade celebrates everything surrounding the week long hula fest.  There is usually a variety of pageant queens including our own Miss Aloha – hula contestant winner.


Then there is a contingent of this year’s Hawaiian royalty, kings, queens and other historical members of the Hawaiian royal family who are chosen to be this year’s royal court members.  The royal float contains live music performers serenading the court and is filled with fresh tropical flowers and exotic plants.

All the floats are lavishly decorated with colorful flowers like orchids, gingers and plumeria which are grown commercially for export and showcasing the abundance of plant and tropical flowers grown on the island.  Many of the floats feature live performers singing favorite Hawaiian tunes along with local dancing hula halaus (schools) dancing in perfect synch to the music.

A favorite of the audience are the local pa’u riders (parade horseback riders) with their extravagant outfits and vivid floral displays of leis and other adornments. Representing each island with their local official color and flower, each pa’u rider is an amazing sight to behold in the procession. Even the horse poop carriers and scoopers are creatively presented and fun to witness their vital task of pooper scooper tasks.


Even the paniolo men (cowboys) were handsomely presented with their horses in beautiful regalia to match the island colors and flowers.

At the tail end of each horse contingent are the pooper scoopers, this was actually one of the favorites at the parade, due to the unique and colorful presentations that were present at this parade. This one was my favorite with the pineapple princess representing Lanai.

Unique to the Hawaiian islands are contingents that celebrate local activities like the Red hat ladies, marching bands, the taiko drummers, the local ukulele marching band and various dignitaries. It all makes for a unique blend of participants that creates a fun parade experience.


The Merrie Monarch parade celebrates hula and the entire community at its best and most welcomed Aloha.  Its a beautiful event to witness and photograph with each new contingent approaching and exciting events unfolding spontaneously.

Thanks for visiting and experiencing this event online, hopefully next year you may come and visit Hilo to experience this exciting festival and parade in person.

To see more photographs on this event, please visit this flickr site for more images.
©Noel Morata, All rights reserved

Come and visit my photography website at http://noelmorata.photoshelter.com/

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