After being canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hilo’s beloved Christmas lights parade was back Saturday night, with hundreds of residents lining the downtown streets to enjoy the festivities.
“I think people need this,” said Danielle Preston, 27, from Mountain View.
She was standing along Hilo’s Bayfront with her family: “I think this is very fun. The community is so excited. I love to see the people dancing.”
The parade, which included around 40 entries and more than 700 individuals, began at about 6 p.m. at Pauahi Street and continued through town to Kamehameha Avenue.
The East Hawai’i Lions Club spearheaded the festivities of Christmas music, colorful lights and family fun. The parade lasted about 90 minutes and included floats and lit-up walkers from the Hawai‘i County Mayor’s office, Kea’au Cougar Marching Band, the Hilo High School Viking Band, the Waiākea High School Band and the National Guard Youth Challenge Academy.
“This year’s parade was fantastic,” said Hilo resident Marcella Stroh. “It was very high-energy and the kids loved it. This one is perfect. It was cool, not too cold, and everything was perfect.”
Tiana Ahuna, 30, from Kurtistown, was with her husband and her two toddlers.
“They loved the dump trucks and all the lights,” she said about her children. “I think that’s the draw of having the parade at night because you get to see the lights at night. It was their first time and our first time and we’ll be back next year.”