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An Exquisite Day for Hilo’s Iconic Parade

April 23, 2017, 1:03 PM HST (Updated April 24, 2017, 9:01 AM) · 0 Comments
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Thousands of Big Island residents and visitors lined the streets of downtown Hilo for the iconic Merrie Monarch Royal Parade on a sunny Saturday, April 22, 2017.

The parade marks the end of the week-long Merrie Monarch hula festival. This year, 75 groups either walked or rode the 1.8-mile route.

Consisting of hula hālau, school bands, local businesses, pāʻū riders and several veterans, military and civic groups, the parade was filled with beauty and excitement.

True to Hilo style, the ‘Ahiu Hawaii float handed out smoked meat to onlookers.

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This year, the International March for Science joined the parade with 100 people participating. Many carried signs that read, “There is no planet B” and “Pono Science is possible.”

One young local boy ran to the curb chanting, “Science! Science! Science!” while pumping his fist in the air when he heard onlookers say, “here comes the March for Science.”

Each year the parade embodies the aloha spirit—and that was certainly the case this year.

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    Big Island Cheer cheerleader throwing a shaka during the 54th Annual Merrie Monarch Royal Parade in Hilo on April 22, 2017. Photo: Crystal Richard.

    ‘Ahiu Hawaii passed out smoked meat during the 54th Annual Merrie Monarch Royal Parade in Hilo on April 22, 2017. Photo: Crystal Richard.

    Hilo High School during the 2017 Merrie Monarch Royal Parade in Hilo on April 22. Photo: Crystal Richard.

    The International March for Science marchers in the 54th Annual Merrie Monarch Royal Parade in Hilo on April 22, 2017. Photo: Crystal Richard.

    Polynesian dancers during the 54th Annual Merrie Monarch Royal Parade in Hilo on April 22, 2017. Photo: Crystal Richard.

    Pāʻū rider during the 54th Annual Merrie Monarch Royal Parade in Hilo on April 22, 2017. Photo: Crystal Richard.

    AlohaʻĀina during the 54th Annual Merrie Monarch Royal Parade in Hilo on April 22, 2017. Photo: Crystal Richard.

    Na ‘Ohana O Kahikilaulani O Mexico participated in the Merrie Monarch Royal Parade in Hilo on April 22. Photo: Crystal Richard.

    Princess of Hawai‘i in the 54th Annual Merrie Monarch Royal Parade in Hilo on April 22, 2017. Photo: Crystal Richard.

    The Mahalo Hilo float by Hawaii USA Federal Credit Union during the 54th Annual Merrie Monarch Royal Parade in Hilo on April 22, 2017. Photo: Crystal Richard.

    Beautiful pāʻū riders during the 2017 Merrie Monarch Royal Parade in Hilo on April 22. Photo: Crystal Richard.

    Pāʻū rider in the 54th Annual Merrie Monarch Royal Parade in Hilo on April 22, 2017. Photo: Crystal Richard.

    Hawai‘i Gov. David Ige and First Lady Dawn Ige during the 2017 Merrie Monarch Royal Parade in Hilo on April 22. Photo: Crystal Richard.

    Hawai‘i Island Mayor Harry Kim during the 54th Annual Merrie Monarch Royal Parade in Hilo on April 22, 2017. Photo: Crystal Richard.

    Miss Aloha Hula 2017 followed by Hawai‘i Island Mayor Harry Kim during the Merrie Monarch Royal Parade in Hilo on April 22, 2017. Photo: Crystal Richard.

    Crystal Richard
    Crystal Richard moved to East Hawai’i in 2005 to attend UH Hilo. While earning her bachelor’s degree in English and a certificate to teach English as a second language, Crystal served as the editor-in-chief of “Hohonu,” UH Hilo’s academic journal, and as assistant editor-in-chief at “KeKalahea,” UH Hilo’s student newspaper. From a young age, Crystal fell in love with the written word and has always dreamed of a career in journalism. She has worked as a Big Island Now freelance reporter since September 2016. She is a wellness and health advocate who enjoys swimming, gardening, reading and spending time with her animals and loved ones.
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