Merrie Monarch Royal Parade makes grand comeback after 2-year hiatus

For the first time in two years, the Merrie Monarch Festival Royal Parade made a grand return to the streets of Hilo on Saturday.
Published: Apr. 23, 2022 at 12:08 PM HST|Updated: Apr. 23, 2022 at 5:20 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For the first time in two years, the Merrie Monarch Festival Royal Parade made a grand return to the streets of Hilo on Saturday.

Excited keiki and kupuna lined the roadways as families came out to watch the parade.

“Words cannot express how excited we are, and it’s much needed because it’s been too long. It’s just exciting to be here and feel all this energy,” said Leimomi Ho, a resident from Honolulu.

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There were over 80 units, including a colorful collection of paʻu riders.

The parade began at Piopio Street. Parade participants then continued left onto Pauahi Street, then down onto Kilauea Avenue, Keawe Street and onto Waianuenue Avenue. It finally wound down on Kamehameha Avenue, ending at a Bishop Street staging area.

To prep for the festivities, families staked out their spots early in the morning with pop up tents lining Kilauea Avenue.

“We love it. Familyʻs here. We haven’t had this for a while,” said Donnetta Taylor, a Hilo resident. “We just kept ourselves hiding all this time after COVID. Itʻs just nice to feel people again, and to see the smiles on everybody.”

Also in the crowd — decked out as usual — Hiloʻs own Anake Irene Midel.

The Merrie Monarch royal court was on full display followed by Miss Aloha Hula 2022 Piʻikea lopes of Halau Ka La Onohi Mae O Haʻehaʻe.

The parade is a community highlight every year, bringing together spectators and community groups. It was put on hold after when the pandemic forced the festival to scale back events. But despite all these obstacles, many were grateful to be back in the joyous energy.

“Thank you Hilo, and thank you Merrie Monarch for allowing this to happen again and be back here because itʻs been way too long time, and itʻs just great to be back in Hilo,” Ho said.

Merrie Monarch festivities continue with the final night of competition — Auana night features the beautiful graceful modern and fun style of hula.

Following these performances, awards will be handed out late into night.

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