Categorized | Entertainment

Peace, drums and rock ‘n’ roll


Taiko drums, marching bands, bon dance, jazz, rock & roll, hula and more — Honokaa town is tuning up for the 5th Annual Parade & Festival for the United Nations International Day of Peace, Sunday, Sept. 18.

Stepping off at 11 a.m. from Honokaa High School, the Peace Day Parade is a “moving stage” of music, dance and entertainment with a message.

Concurrently, a Peace Day Festival takes place at the Honokaa Sports Complex from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with great local and ethnic foods, artists and crafters, live entertainment and a large community Bon Dance for everyone to join.

The Peace Committee of Honokaa Honpa Hongwanji Buddhist temple, producers of the annual festivities, are now accepting booth applications from community groups, food and other vendors for the Festival.

The Peace Committee is also planning its first ever 5K “Peace Run,” support programs for the Carteret Atoll education projects, and popular annual Peace Poster Contest.

The Peace Poster Contest welcomes entries from students in grades kindergarten through 12, willing to take time to express their thoughts on the theme “Peace means…” by Friday, Sept. 9.

The contest is free to enter, and cash prizes are awarded to the winners in several categories.

“We take a lot of pride in our Peace Day Parade and Festival,” said Peace Committee Chairman Mile Okumura, “The entertainers, whether they’re marching down the street or performing onstage, the ceremony, the booths, the food, everything has a certain quality, style and spirit. And that’s what sets our Peace Day events apart and makes people want to come back year after year — residents and visitors from Hawaii, the mainland, Japan and everywhere.”

Last year’s events gave the small town a big voice, with more than 2,000 participants and news coverage on all the major local television network stations. Plus, live streaming video linked the Parade & Festival with Peace Day concerts around the world for a potential 2 million viewers.

The United Nations has been celebrating the International Day of Peace for more than 25 years, but Peace Day became law in Hawaii in 2007 as a result of lobbying by the teen group, United Junior Young Buddhist Association.

Proceeds go toward community services, including educational programs, charities, environmental activism programs and various peace initiatives year-round.

The 5th Annual Parade & Festival for the United Nations International Day of Peace are 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) CPEP and the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii.

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