Hawaii Island LGBTQ Pride Festival & Parade, June 30

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The Hawaii Island LGBTQ Pride Festival and Parade, an after-party and Rainbow After Dark will take place on Saturday, June 30, 2018, in Hilo.

“Hawaii Island LGBTQ Pride is an annual gathering that celebrates the beautiful, diverse community of our island,” said Greg Lupton, vice president of Hawaii Island LGBTQ Pride.

The Pride Parade will start at 11 a.m. starting on Ponahawai Street to Kīlauea Avenue, onto Keawe Street to Waianuenue Avenue, then to Kamehameha Avenue, ending at Mo‘oheau Park.

The parade’s grand marshal, Joel Barraquiel Tan, an artist, innovator and nonprofit leader, has dedicated his life’s work to promoting social justice, cultural equity and increasing access to marginalized communities. Most recently, he served as Kalanihonua Retreat Center’s executive director.

The Hawaii Island LGBTQ Pride Festival will be held from noon to 4 p.m. at the Mo’oheau Bandstand and will include entertainment from cover band The Ro Ling Tones, The Puna Men’s Chorus and exotic drag. The festival also includes food and art vendors as well as many information booths for community organizations. Activities just for keiki include a bouncy house and games.

All LGBTQ people, all members of the community, supporters and keiki are welcome.


The celebration also included PINK! The Official Pride After Party on Saturday, from 4 to 7 p.m., at the Hilo Town Tavern, 168 Keawe St.



Rainbow After Dark on Saturday from 7 to 10 p.m. will be held at The Crown Room in the Grand Naniloa Hotel, 93 Banyan Drive.

The film Tom of Finland will be screened at the Palace Theater on July 6, 8, 9 and 10 at 7 p.m.; Sunday Matinee at 2:30 p.m. The theater is located at 38 Haili St. in Hilo.


The first Hawaii Island LGBTQ Pride was held in 2013.

“This year’s theme is ‘LOVE ACTIVATES!’ because 2018 has proven to be a time when people’s hearts have driven them to action,” said Lupton.

“The Me Too and Time’s Up movements against sexual assault were joined this last year by the Never Again movement formed by students after the shooting at Parkland High School in Florida,” Lupton said.

“More recently, love has moved our country to stand up against the separation of parents from children at our border,” Lupton said.

“And close to home, the recent eruption in Leilani Estates as mobilized the aloha of Hawai‘i Island through the relief efforts of government and private agencies, but perhaps most focused in community based assistance like that provided by Pu‘uhonua o Puna and the World Central Kitchen—both in Pāhoa,” Lupton said.

This year, the organization also celebrates in the context of the recent banning of “conversion therapy” in Hawai‘i and a great step forward in the treatment of LGBTQ young people.

“As the LGBTQ community, we have experienced firsthand the love of our families, friends and allies who join us in making Hawai‘i a welcoming place for all,” Lupton said.

Over decades, Hawaii Island LGBTQ Pride has listened to and embraced the various different voices and experiences in our own community, Lupton said. This year, Hawaii Island LGBTQ Pride has added LGBTQ to its name as a way to acknowledge the diversity within their own tribe. It is also an acknowledgment of their own history.

Lupton pointed out that Target is carrying its first LGBTQ merchandise this year at their Hilo store.

For more information, contact Lupton at (323) 788-7626 [email protected].

The first gay pride event took place in Los Angeles in June 1970, to mark the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City. The earliest Pride events were venues for political statements, public outrageousness, coming out and community celebration.

Hawai‘i Island has followed in this same tradition.

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