the Aloha Festivals floral parade has delighted locals and visitors alike for more than 60 years. But the loss of Hawaiian Airlines’ title sponsorship means the annual tradition is in jeopardy.
Some Waikiki residents and businesses have been known to be annoyed at the number of parades that come down Kalakaua Avenue, but none have the long history and universal popularity of the Aloha Festivals procession. As the Star-Bulletin notes, the Aloha Festivals events have already been scaled down, but to lose its most visible centerpiece “would be a shame.”
Organizers say they need to raise $50,000 by Monday or the parade will have to be canceled. That’s the threshold needed to trigger a $200,000 contribution from the Hawaii Tourism Authority. In addition to putting out a call for help to the local businesses and community groups, the Hawaii Jaycees will out in force this weekend collecting “fishnet donations” at various intersections around town.
Those interested in contributing can also visit the Save the Parade website and donate online. “People can give as little as $1 or as much as they can feasibly,” writes organizer Jon Cook, who is also reaching out to the local blogosphere. “We have a limited time to raise the money.”
Photo from the 2007 Aloha Festivals parade by Melvin Ah Ching.