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A Royal Parade

April 13, 2012, 11:05 PM HST
* Updated September 14, 10:38 AM
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Weather can never dampen the vibrant hues of festive floats and gorgeous costumes of the Merrie Monarch Royal Parade. Each year, downtown Hilo’s Pauahi Street, Kilauea Avenue, Keawe Street, Waianuenue Avenue, and Kamehameha Avenue, are awash in bold colors and sounds. People line the streets, occupy nearly every patch of grass, kick off their slippers and watch as the year’s royal court rides by on horseback.

The royal court is a selected group of individuals who portray the Hawaiian Monarchy with a King (Moʻi Kane), Queen (Moʻi Wahine), and attendants. Each island is represented and is differentiated by costume in color, as well as the type of flora or fauna used.

On Saturday April 14, at 10:30 a.m., lucky attendees managed to grab a vantage point with some shade. The parade began and ended at Pauahi Street. Early risers staked their claim on prime gazing spots. Onlookers gawked at the garish floats, chuckled at the whimsy of creative folks who make pooper-scoopers attractive, and got chicken skin when the paʻu riders bestowed their smiles.

Pa’u is a riding costume that protects the woman’s clothing as she rides astride a horse. This sarong-type swath of fabric encompasses the woman’s dress and protects it from the elements she may come into contact with while riding.

Expect to see and smell beauteous garlands, leis, and haku, (floral headpiece) in an array of hues and textures. This glamorous glimpse of old Hawaiʻi is one of the island’s not-to-be-missed events.

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