In what has become a most colorful yearly tradition, Honoka‘a town is busy decorating storefronts, building floats and making plans to read, run, walk, dance, draw, drum and otherwise celebrate the United Nations International Day of Peace. On Saturday, September 22, the 6th Annual “Peace Day” Parade and Festival steps off at 10 a.m. from Honoka‘a High School, with what’s been called a “moving stage” of multi-cultural and multi-generational entertainment.
Taiko drums, marching bands, bon dance groups, belly dancers, robots, rock & roll, hula hālau, costumed school groups and senior citizens all perform their way down the town’s main Mamane Street, and wind up at the Sports Complex for the Peace Day Festival. The Festival, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., features numerous craft and food booths, live music on stage, and a large community Bon Dance for everyone to join. Featured entertainment for the Parade & Festival includes “Elvis,” Hiccup Circus, Honoka‘a High School Jazz Band, the Big Time R&B Band, Honoka‘a Seniors Women’s Chorus, The Hawaii Island Festival’s Royal Court, and Kea‘au High School Band.
The “Fastest Man in America.” Special honoree for the 2012 Peace Day Parade will be one-time “fastest man in America,” Everett Souza of Honoka‘a, who as a teenager held the record in the 50-mile run during President Kennedy’s physical fitness challenge to America. Souza completed the run from Hualālai to Honoka‘a in about 12 hours, besting U.S. Marines, college track teams and many others, and has good-naturedly offered to participate and encourage students to keep fit, 50 years later.
Peace Poster Contest. Peace-related events take place throughout the month. Ongoing now, the Peace Poster Contest for K-12 students will accept entries until 6 p.m. Friday, September 14. Posters are rated on focus and clarity of this year’s theme, “Aloha Peace.” Cash prizes for first, second and third places will be awarded by groups: K-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12, with winners announced at the Festival. “Best of Show” receives $100 and an overnight stay at contest sponsor Waianuhea Bed & Breakfast. Entry forms at www.peacedayparade.org. For more information, call 775-7232.
Read for Peace. On Monday, September 17 at 5:30 p.m., the community is invited to join an engaging conversation based on Thich Nhat Hanh’s book, Peace Is Every Step, at the Honokaa library. “Read for Peace” is sponsored by the Friends of Hamakua Libraries and the Peace Committee.
Benefit for GMO-Free Hawai‘i—including films, local-networking, panel discussion, food, and dancing to great reggae music by international recording star Marty Dread, with special guest “Big Time.” Events take place Monday, Sept. 17, 4:30-10 p.m. at the Honoka‘a Peoples Theater. Proceeds go towards GMO-Free Hawaii’s completion of the Documentary “With Love and Gratitude from Hawai‘i to Japan: Thank you for saying NO to GMO Papaya,” an international collaboration that will spread the message abroad of the fight to keep Hawai‘i GMO-free. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door, $5 for 18 and under with student ID before 5 p.m. show day, available at Taro Patch Gifts. For more information, call 775-7159.
Day of Mindfulness, Forgiveness and Personal Peace. On Friday, Sept. 17, prior to the Parade & Festival, the Peace Committee hosts a “Day of Mindfulness, Forgiveness and Personal Peace” at Kalopā State Park. As opposed to meditation, “mindfulness” is a practice of paying careful attention to what is happening in the present moment—including sensations, sounds, smells, visual images , emotions and thoughts. It can be done any time, while engaged in any kind of activity, but the quiet natural setting of the forest promotes more complete relaxation and focus. Guidance will be provided by Reverend Mary David of Mililani Hongwanji Buddhist Temple (Oahu). Registration fee of $25 includes a vegetarian lunch. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up, as advance registration is required.
Run/Walk for Peace. The 2nd Annual “Run/Walk for Peace,” a 5K run or 2-mile walk open to everyone, will start at 9:00 a.m. from the Honoka‘a High School Football Field—prior to the Parade on Saturday, September 22, with check-in 8:15-8:45 a.m. Entry Fee of $20 includes “Peace Day Parade” T-shirt, and prizes will be awarded top finishers. For more information, please visit www.peacedayparade.org
Global connections. This year’s events will have international ties, partnered with concurrent Peace Day concerts and activities around the world via live streaming video. These include: One Day One Dance, a program of founder Jeremy Gilley’s organization Peace One Day, and Playing for Change Day, a global multimedia musical project taking place on the same day, September 22. The Peace Committee is proud to be part of these initiatives and encourages readers to learn more and support their good works.
The 6th Annual Parade & Festival for the United Nations International Day of Peace are presented by the Peace Committee of the Honoka‘a Hongwanji Buddhist Temple in cooperation with the United Nations and numerous community organizations. Major financial support has been provided by the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawai’i Committee on Social Concerns. For more information visit www.PeaceDayParade.org or email email@example.com
- Parade & Festival for United Nations International Day of Peace – Saturday, September 22, 2012 (damontucker.com)
- Kona Peace Day Debuts With Host of Activities (damontucker.com)