Waimea Paniolo Parade coming to town

  • Locals and tourists flock to Waimea each September for the Paniolo Parade to watch the decorated pa‘u units ride their horses through town, such as this rider in a past parade. (COURTESY PHOTO/GEORGE FULLER)
    Locals and tourists flock to Waimea each September for the Paniolo Parade to watch the decorated pa‘u units ride their horses through town, such as this rider in a past parade. (COURTESY PHOTO/GEORGE FULLER)

WAIMEA — Dozens of paniolo of all ages will take to the streets for the 41st annual Paniolo Parade on Sept. 17. Beginning at 10 a.m., the parade starts at Church Row Park and continues through Waimea Town to Waimea Park featuring proud pau units adorned with colorful lei decorations.

The event is part of the island’s “30 Days of Aloha,” a celebration to carry on Hawaii’s Aloha Festivals legacy with culturally rich events. For the parade, Mamalahoa Highway within Waimea will be closed off from 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Hoolaulea in Waimea Park will follow the parade until 4 p.m. with dozens of arts, crafts and food vendors, as well as live entertainment.

Coinciding with the parade will be a Paniolo Artisans Showcase from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., on Sept. 16 and 17 at Kahilu Town Hall, home of Mana Christian Ohana church. The event will feature works by more than a dozen saddle makers from across the state and a unique opportunity to meet and talk story with legends in saddlery, ranching and horsemanship.

This year’s Showcase is dedicated to the memory of five master practitioners who were founding participants in the event: Donnie De Silva, Lowell Freitas, Joe Manini, Kealoha Saffery and Clive Ushijima. The event is sponsored by the Paniolo Preservation Society (PPS) and chaired by the event’s founder and master saddle maker, Alvin Kawamoto, along with PPS VP Bill Ferreira and Charley Onaka — all revered members of Paniolo Hall of Fame.

After a formal opening at 10 a.m. on Friday, the day will include numerous educational tours for students. The formal welcome will be repeated at 10 a.m. Saturday. Entertainment will include music and hula, and refreshments will be provided.

All three events are free and open to the public.

Parade info and applications: Moani Akana at 936-3706

Food vendors and entertainment: Linda Pokipala at 937-4896

Craft vendors: Lorna Akima at 345-7154

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