7th Annual Peace Day Parade and Festival

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<p>Ryukyukoku Taishoji Kohala was a favorite of the crowd with their high-energy performances. Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko was introduced to Hawaii in 1996 from Okinawa by Sensei Akemi Martin perpetuating Okinawan culture. Our banner symbolizes sharing heart over the earth through the art and spirit of Eisa taiko, welcoming all. (PHOTO BY SARAH ANDERSON| SPECIAL TO NHN)</p>
<p>The Love Peace Harmony Movement was created by world renowned healer and teacher Dr. and Master Sha. (PHOTO BY SARAH ANDERSON| SPECIAL TO NHN)</p>
<p>This is how, Julian, of the Hiccup Circus rolls. (PHOTO BY SARAH ANDERSON| SPECIAL TO NHN)</p>
<p>The Sasaki Family were Peace Parade honored guests. They are famous because of the story, “Sadako Sasaki and the Thousand Paper Cranes.” Paper cranes became this year’s Peace Day theme. (PHOTO BY SARAH ANDERSON| SPECIAL TO NHN)</p>
<p>Prince Dance Institute returned, in neon, to the Peace Parade this year to spread their love of dance and dedication to peace and love with the community. (PHOTO BY SARAH ANDERSON| SPECIAL TO NHN)</p>
<p>Kamehameha Preschoolers take a choo choo train through the parade. (PHOTO BY SARAH ANDERSON| SPECIAL TO NHN)</p>
<p>Honokaa’s own Hula Halau Helele’i Pua ‘O Waipi’o ride on their their float through the Peace Parade. (PHOTO BY SARAH ANDERSON| SPECIAL TO NHN)</p>

The peaceful town of Honokaa was filled with people celebrating the United Nations International Day of Peace as thousands gathered to enjoy the 7th annual Peace Day Parade on Saturday, Sept. 21.

The day began with “Peace in the Streets,” as the Honokaa Business Association teamed up with the Peace Committee to provide live music on four different mini-stages up and down Mamane Street from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Keiki enjoyed the inflatable Jump and Slide and Zoo Choo train rides and everyone had a chance to visit 21 participating businesses in town to win Scavenger Hunt prizes.

After the Parade from 4-5 p.m., the community festival began, with a ceremonial chant and bell-ringing by Rev. Kosho Yagi of Honokaa Hongwanji . Music and entertainment was provided as a gift to the community by the Honokaa High School Jazz Band, Magician Bruce Meyers, Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko, the Big Rock band, the Hiccup Circus and others. Gerald DeMello of the University of Hawaii read a proclamation from Governor Neil Abercrombie, in which he pledged continued support of “initiatives that inspire and further the advancement of peace throughout the State of Hawaii and the world.”

Sasaki family honored

Special guests for the parade and festival were members of the Sasaki family from Japan, whose sister and aunt Sadako Sasaki inspired the book “Sadako and the Thousand Cranes.” Sadako was only a child when the bombs fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Although she survived the blast, she later succumbed to radiation-caused leukemia, but not before working to reach her goal of 1,000 origami paper cranes, each enfolded with a wish for peace and healing. Nephew Yuji Sasaki, a popular singer in Japan, performed his song “Inori” in her honor at the Festival.

Earlier on Saturday, the Sasaki’s donated one of Sadako’s original cranes to the Pearl Harbor Visitors Center for a permanent exhibit. Two others have been given, to the Tribute World Trade Center Visitor Center at Ground Zero in New York, and to the Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution in Vienna.

“199,000 Cranes” project

The Peace Committee has taken on a year-long project to gather origami cranes and send as a “flock” to the Hiroshima Memorial Peace Museum in Sadako’s honor. Featured on KITV news, the “199,000 Cranes” project aims to reach their goal by Hiroshima Day, Aug. 6. To contribute cranes, please contact by email, info@peacedayparade.org.

Run for Peace

Saturday’s events also included the third annual 5K “Run for Peace,” directed by Sue DeLaCruz of Hamakua Health Center. All runners received a logo participation medal and awards were presented to finishers as follows:

Overall Male and 16-18 Division winner: Tony Connors, 19:05

Overall Female and 16-18 Division winner: Hildhang Adona, 24:58

Age Division Winners:

0-9 Male: Kyle Ignacio, 37:17

10-15 Male: Chaystin Peters, 25:12

19-29 Female: Amber Green-Weiss, 32:43

30-39 Female: Nani Maloof, 30:19

40-49 Male: Thomas Martin, 36:12

40-49 Female: Kendra Ignacio, 37:19

50 and up Male: Patrick Donovan, 31:40

Masters Male: Don Choquette, 39:15

Cash Prize Division:

Male: Seanry Agbayani, 20:38

Female: Nani Maloof, 30:19

For more information visit www.peacedayparade.org or PeaceDayParade on Facebook.