Categorized | Education, Entertainment

Drums, Not Drugs block party in Honokaa this weekend


Drums, Not Drugs block party and concert at the Honokaa People's Theater.


There’s a powerful rhythm in the message of “Drums, Not Drugs,” a one-of-a-kind block party in Honokaa, 3-6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, as part of the 3rd Annual Parade & Festival for the United Nations International Day of Peace.

For one afternoon, Mamane Street becomes a showcase for sidewalk Picassos and a place to march to some “different drums.”

Drums, Not Drugs (DND) brings together Hip Hop, Taiko, Hawaiian pahu, Native American Pawnee-Iruska drummers from Oklahoma and the Sacred Women’s Drum Circle of Pahoa, performing live on the outdoor stage.

At the same time, Mar Ortaleza and AHA (Abled Hawaii Artists) take it to the street, with a sensational sidewalk chalk art contest “CHALK4PEACE,” where graffiti may become a masterpiece. Mamane Street shops and restaurants remain open during the event to welcome participants for an exceptional Saturday afternoon.

At 7 p.m., DND presents a concert in the Peoples Theater, featuring the Pacific Buddhist Academy Taiko Ensemble and other great performers, including “urban warrior” Native American motivational speaker Brian Frejo. Frejo (Pawnee-Seminole) speaks to youth in the context of Native cultures, as human beings “C4G” (Created for Greatness), not as victims of outside influences.

Frejo’s talk leads up to a special appearance by brother Quese IMC and the hot beat of their hip-hop crew, Culture Shock Camp. With a vibe defined by a powerful blend of hip-hop and Native music that promotes a message of wellness, unity and Native pride, Culture Shock Camp takes audiences on a unique cultural journey.

Their message strives to empower Native youth and communities to reclaim and celebrate their traditional cultural and spiritual lifeways as a source of power that can help them achieve their potential, make healthy choices, and realize their goals.

“Drums, Not Drugs is an amazing way to energize the community and inspire kids with the message that it is absolutely cool to make good choices,” said Parade & Festival chairman Miles Okumura. “And, it’s a great way to get people jazzed up for the Parade & Festival on Sunday too—all part of our vision for peace, compassion and awareness of universal interdependence.”

Drums, Not Drugs block party is free and open to the public. Admission to the Culture Shock Camp concert at the Peoples Theater is $10 per person.

The 3rd Annual Parade & Festival for the United Nations International Day of Peace is presented by the Peace Committee of the Honokaa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple in cooperation with the United Nations and numerous community organizations. Major financial support has been provided by the County of Hawaii Department of Research and Development (Tourism Division) and the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii.

A limited number of Block Party, Parade and Festival spaces are still available and groups are urged to sign up quickly. Monetary donations to help send local kids to the concert are welcome.

For more information call (808) 883-0669, email  or visit

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