Float building teaches local culture

Brian Sabog
Brian Sabog
Fran Terry
Fran Terry
Frank Hernandez
Frank Hernandez
Kelani Ramos
Kelani Ramos

By Zahid Arab bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL)- Kalakaua Avenue will be converted into a colorful canvas for cultural arts as The Aloha Festival kicks off its Floral Parade. The parade will not only entertain, the entries will teach aspects of hawaiian culture to visitors and locals alike.

If parade floats are a pop quiz then call volunteers architects of history.

"It's from the heart, that's where it all begins," said Volunteer Brian Sabog.

With this year's theme "Hula-Let the story be told," hawaiian culture comes alive.

"These are such intricate pieces taken from old history books," said Volunteer Fran Terry.

Stories like how nuns arrived in the islands nearly 150 years ago.

"We didn't have docks for the ships so they put the nuns into these barrels," said Terry.

And somehow they floated to shore.

"Everything is natural, everything is from the land."

They use moss and native plants from neighbor islands. Some say float building is about the process, not the final product.

"Hard work, a lot of teamwork. Unity as a whole which is very representative of the hawaiian community and culture," said Volunteer Frank Hernandez.

Local custom drives Kelani Ramos' design.

"A tea leaf in the four corners of the yard to keep the bad spirits away," said Volunteer Kelani Ramos.

Volunteers go from tea leaves to something more tiny.

"We're using the velvety side to imitate the pahu drum. Music is our lifestyle, our tradition," said Sabog.

"Everybody has some story to tell you," said Terry.

Pages in a textbook could teach you hawaiian culture or you can just come down and build a float.

The parade starts Saturday, September 26th at 9am. It goes from Ala Moana Park and ends at Kapiolani Park. Among the entries this year is a float honoring the canonization of Father Damien this October.