Waikiki parade commemorates 75th anniversary of attack on Pearl Harbor

Waikiki parade commemorates 75th anniversary of attack on Pearl Harbor

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - The 18th annual Waikiki Holiday Parade kicked off along Kalakaua Avenue Friday night.

Thousands gathered to watch 38 bands from Hawaii and the mainland, local clubs, officers and military personnel march down the famous Waikiki street.

"We're so grateful we were asked to participate," said Ken Kang, of Gee Yung International Martial Arts.

"This is the biggest parade this island has ever seen and it's certainly the biggest Waikiki holiday parade we ever put on," said Stacy Thielman-Jost, president of Gateway Music Festivals and Tours.

In addition to kicking off the holiday season, the event commemorates the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Survivors, like 99-year-old Everett Hyland, were escorted through the crowd. "I'm fantastic," he said. "I'm always fantastic."

This year, the City adjusted its policies on the number of parades allowed in Waikiki after complaints surfaced that Kalakaua Avenue -- the most important street in Hawaii when it comes to retail -- was closed far too often.

The Waikiki Holiday Parade is glad it made the cut as a legacy event, those that have been in place 15 years or longer.

That means it's future is secured in the Aloha State for years to come.

"We've been consistently putting on this parade for so many years and bringing in a lot of revenue for the city," Thielman-Jost said.

For a complete list of 2016 holiday parades and events on Oahu, click here.

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