PHOTOS: Hilo Pride Parade & Festival

June 30, 2019, 8:43 AM HST (Updated June 30, 2019, 8:43 AM)
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Hundreds attended the Hilo Pride Parade and Festival on Saturday, June 28, 2019, the second longest-running pride event in the state.

The parade began at 11 a.m. in Downtown Hilo; the festival was held from noon to 4 p.m. at Mo‘oheau Bandstand.  Entertainment was provided by cover band Born This Way, the Puna Men’s Chorus, Ricky Alvarez and drag performers. Food, art vendors and information booths for community organizations were also featured at the festival.

There was also a bounce house, arts, crafts and games for keiki.

Two after-parties were also held—PINK!, the third official Pride after-party, included a drag show at Hilo Town Tavern. The Equality HI dance party was held in the Grand Naniloa Resort Crown Room.

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With a theme of “50 and Fierce,” Hawai‘i Island LGBTQ Pride, a Hilo-based nonprofit organization sponsored by the Hawaii LGBT Legacy Foundation, commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots and joined with communities around the world in celebration of the social and legal advances made in the last half-century.

The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay community against a police raid that began in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn, a gay club in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City.

But every year, Greg Lupton, treasurer of Hawai‘i Island LGBTQ Pride, said he finds for himself a “really unique reason to do what we’re doing.”

“This year, I think part of it is really feeling connections with other LGBTQ communities around the world,” he said. “As a member of a community in a very remote place, I’m really feeling the connection that we have to larger cities and small towns across the world that are all celebrating at the same time.”

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Hilo Pride Parade and Festival, June 28, 2019. PC: Crystal Richard
Hilo Pride Parade and Festival, June 28, 2019. PC: Crystal Richard
Hilo Pride Parade and Festival, June 28, 2019. PC: Crystal Richard
Hilo Pride Parade and Festival, June 28, 2019. PC: Crystal Richard
Hilo Pride Parade and Festival, June 28, 2019. PC: Crystal Richard
Hilo Pride Parade and Festival, June 28, 2019. PC: Crystal Richard
Hilo Pride Parade and Festival, June 28, 2019. PC: Crystal Richard
Hilo Pride Parade and Festival, June 28, 2019. PC: Crystal Richard
Hilo Pride Parade and Festival, June 28, 2019. PC: Crystal Richard
Hilo Pride Parade and Festival, June 28, 2019. PC: Crystal Richard
Hilo Pride Parade and Festival, June 28, 2019. PC: Crystal Richard
Hilo Pride Parade and Festival, June 28, 2019. PC: Crystal Richard

Peter “Tui” Silva served as grand marshal. Born and raised in Hilo, Silva became president of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s Gay and Bisexual Club in 1991 and served in a group that pushed for sexual orientation to be added to UH’s non-discrimination policy. He helped found Na Mamo o Hawaii, the state’s first Native Hawaiian LGBTQ organization.

Silva returned to Hilo in 2007 and began working at the Waiakea Health Center, where he provided free access to sexually transmitted infection education, testing and treatment for more than a decade.

For more information about Pride activities, visit hawaiiislandlgbtqpride.org or find the group on Facebook.

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