FORT WORTH, TEXAS (Hawaii News Now) - For the first time in history, pau riders from Hawaii participated in one of the largest equestrian parades in the nation.
Layered in the colors and flowers of the islands, 16 pau riders from the islands rode in the Western Day Parade in Dallas Fort Worth Texas, Saturday.
The organization Hawaii Pa'u Riders took on the task of participating in the parade and a week long series of events in to share a deeper sense of island culture. Riders danced hula and held lei making demonstrations for festival goers.
Leiala Cook, president of Hawaii Pa'u Riders says sharing the aloha spirit worldwide is a goal of the organization.
They previously have been asked to participate in events in places like New York, Las Vegas, California, and even overseas in Belgium. However, this is the first time they have participated in the Texas parade.
Pau riding is a popular and common sight in floral parades across Hawaii. Men and women are selected to ride horseback while representing a specific Hawaiian Island. Representatives make lei for the island unit, including the horses.
Pau dates back to the 1800's when women in Hawaii would would wear long skirts to cover their finer clothes while riding horseback. It has since evolved to include the pageantry it is known for today.