Seeing Rainbows: It’s A Parade of Love

July 5, 2013, 10:04 PM HST
* Updated September 8, 7:07 PM
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“If you were to put all of the little boys in the world in a line and God said, ‘you can choose anyone you want,’ we would choose Travis,” said Tammy Enriques, manager of Garden Exchange, human rights advocate and proud parent.

On Saturday at 11 a.m., Downtown Hilo will have its first gay pride parade. The town will be awash with a rainbow of vibrant hues, smiles, laughter and the love of friends and family united in support of a basic human right. Equality.

“I support my son and will fight for his rights,” said Jeff Enriques, father, advocate and manager of Garden Exchange.

Businesses in downtown Hilo will parade their themed floats in a merry moving party from Kamehameha Avenue. The anticipation for the event has been building. “Everyone is really excited. We’re going to stand up for what we believe in…everyone should be treated equally,” said Tammy.

The theme of their float is Planting the Seeds of Equality. Cute keiki will cause crowds to swoon as they adorn a truck full of flowers. Music will stream into the streets while people walk and dance along the parade’s path.


According to the Enriques family, the outpouring of support has been amazing, surprising, and at times, unexpected. Floral Mart donated six large rainbow balloon bouquets and Ishii Construction helped create the float. Many others donated time and expertise.

Gov. Abercrombie LGBT Pride Month Proclamation.

Gov. Abercrombie LGBT Pride Month Proclamation.


The parade will end back at the Mo’oheau Bandstand, but the fun won’t end when the floats stop moving.

Live music, entertainment, food booths and vendors will turn the adjacent park into a daylong celebration of love. Keiki should expect to bounce it out and scream with delight at the available games.

“With the support of my family and friends, and because of the love of my boyfriend and future husband, I wanted to show that I’m proud of who I am and that I’m just a normal guy,” said Travis Enriques, hairstylist and salon owner.


Travis recently celebrated his two-year anniversary with his partner, Kamuela Bannister.

For many, this parade in Hilo is long overdue. Gov. Neil Abercrombie declared June to be Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month, and Mayor Billy Kenoi declared July 6 to be Gay Pride Day.

Equality for same-sex couples continues to be a highly charged, complex and divisive topic. However, for some it is a non-issue. Love is just love. No matter the gender, color or creed. “It’s time. Things gotta change,” said Jeff Enriques.

Meet with friends and family for a day of love Saturday at Mo’oheau Park, and let the lyrics of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s song Same Love sink in.

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