By: Leland Kim
WAIKIKI (KHNL) -- A colorful parade through Waikiki kicked off Aloha Festivals Saturday morning. The festivals are designed to showcase Hawaii's multi-cultural society and proud history and Saturday's big event brought thousands out to Waikiki.
It had lots of color, plenty of flowers and even a bit of rain.
The morning started out overcast, and at times, poured down on Waikiki. But as the day wore on, nothing could dampen people's spirits.
Fans came out early to watch the aloha parade, but the sun remained hidden behind some ominous clouds. This isn't exactly ideal parade conditions.
"Yeah," said Waianae resident Arlette Joseph. "If my dad and my brothers weren't riding in the parade, I don't think I'll be sitting in the rain."
Some were hopeful Mother Nature wouldn't rain on this parade.
"Hopefully it'll clear up," said Ewa Beach resident Lianne Kahuli, whose brother is the official pooper scooper for the Moloka'i group in the parade. "It looks like it. So, not too bad."
Sure enough, the sun managed to peek out, and cast a natural spotlight.
High school marching bands, paniolo, and other groups throughout the islands marched proudly, and showed their aloha spirit. Their family and friends cheered and took photos.
Besides locals, people from all over the world took a moment from their vacation to enjoy the parade. And for many, it was an educational experience.
"I think it's great especially on the last day that I'm here, to get a little bit of the history of Hawaii before I go," said Matthew Cook, a visitor from Santa Rosa, California.
Gail and Paul Hopkins came all the way from the United Kingdom.
"It's wonderful," the couple from Shropshire, England, said. "Wonderful. Colorful. We get nothing like this back home. It's very good, yeah."
This parade honors our past kings and queens and looks ahead to the future.
"Our island coming together celebrating what we have now, what we had before," said Joella Ferrer, a Wahiawa resident who was there to support Pa'u Unit O Lana'i.
It was festive way to commemorate Hawaii and her proud history.