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Body Found in Boat Off Honoli’i Beach

A body was found in a boat floating off the waters of Honoli’i this afternoon.

Honolii incidentSituation Found at Scene: Upon arrival, .7 mi offshore of Honolii Beach RBT-2 personnel found reporting party in a 13′ Boston Whaler with body floating approximately 15′ away in the open ocean.

Remarks: Rescue Boat 2 personnel located, extricated, and transported body to Wailoa Boat Ramp.  Body turned over to HPD and is investigating.

Hilo’s Mo‘oheau Bandstand Closing for Renovations

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation announces it will close Hilo’s Mo‘oheau Bandstand temporarily starting Monday, August 15, so the structure may undergo extensive renovation.

A vigil for the victims in the Orlando night club shooting was held recently at Mo‘oheau Bandstand.

A vigil for the victims in the Orlando night club shooting was held recently at Mo‘oheau Bandstand.

The closure is expected to last through November 2016 to allow for structural and architectural repairs as well as painting, lighting and electrical upgrades.

To protect park patrons from construction hazards, barricades will be erected to restrict access to the bandstand throughout the project.

During construction, monthly Hawai‘i County Band concerts will be moved to the Aupuni Center Conference Room located at 101 Pauahi Street. The noontime performances will remain as scheduled on the following Saturdays: September 10; October 1; November 12; and December 3.

The Department of Parks and Recreation apologizes for any inconvenience the temporary closure may cause and thanks park patrons for their understanding while it works to improve Mo‘oheau Bandstand.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 961-8311 or jarmstrong@hawaiicounty.gov.

Man Drowns in Wailuku River Spot Known as “Narnia”

Hawaii Fire Department Incident Report 14527:
Wainaku DrowningType of Incident: Drowning

Situation Found at Scene: Upon arrival in the Upper Wailuku River area, locally known as “Narnia”, we found three (3) people on the river bank. They stated that a family member jumped into the water and had difficulty swimming. They jumped in to save him, but were unsuccessful with holding onto him.

Remarks: A Hawaii Fire Department (HFD) team member cleared fallen trees using a chainsaw, allowing easier access to the river for HFD and Hawaii Police Department personnel.

With Chopper 1 providing aerial support, two (2) Fire Rescue Specialists conducted a free dive search and found the victim in approximately thirty (30) feet of water on the river bottom.

Two Die in Two-Car Crash After Auto Theft and Kidnapping Incident Reported

A man and a woman in a stolen car died in a two-car crash Thursday (August 4) on the Mohouli Extension near Kukuau Street in Hilo.
Mohouli Wreck
At 12:45 p.m., police received a call reporting an auto theft and possible kidnapping. The victim reported that his car had been stolen from Kekaulike Street in Downtown Hilo and that his friend had been asleep in the car before it was stolen.

Police made a traffic stop on the stolen vehicle at the intersection of Kaumana Drive and the Mohouli Extension. When the officer exited his vehicle and approached the stolen sedan, the sedan sped away, turning south onto the Mohouli Extension.

The officer returned to his car, followed the stolen vehicle, lost sight of it momentarily and then encountered two crashed sedans. A witness reported that the stolen car had crossed the center line, slid into the other sedan and then overturned.

A man and a woman in the stolen car were both dead at the scene. They have not yet been identified. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

The sole occupant of the other car, a 39-year-old Keaʻau woman, was taken to Hilo Medical Center in critical condition.

Police later learned that the owner’s male friend, who had been sleeping in the stolen car, had managed to jump out immediately after the male driver entered and took control of the vehicle.

The crash is being investigated by the Area I Traffic Enforcement Unit. The auto theft is being investigated by the Area I Criminal Investigations Section. An administrative review will also be conducted, as is standard policy in any police pursuit.

Police ask that anyone who witnessed the crash to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Acting Lieutenant Grant Todd at 961-2385 or grant.todd@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Traffic Signal Energizing, Testing, and Activation for Kapiolani St. and Lanikaula St. Intersection

The Department of Public Works Traffic Division will be working on the new traffic signals at the Lanikāula St. and Kapi‘olani St. intersection on Tuesday, August 9, 2016.

Kapiolani Traffic Signal

The traffic signals will be energized and tested for functionality.  Special off-duty police officers will be posted at the intersection to facilitate traffic movement during the working hours of 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., weather conditions permitting.

Motorists are advised to drive with caution as the signals will be placed in flash mode for 24 hours (flashing yellow light on Lanikāula St. and flashing red light on Kapi‘olani St.).  The traffic signals on all four approaches to the intersection will be operational on Wednesday, August 10, 2016, pending the completion of functionality testing.  Work is still in progress on the Kapi‘olani St. Extension between Mohouli St. and Lanikāula St. and will remain closed to through traffic.

The County also reminds the public that the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo is in the process of their own road improvement project on Kapi‘olani St. approximately fronting the bus stop to Kāwili St. on the mauka side of the road.  Motorists are advised to drive with caution as road crews and heavy machinery will be in that area.

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause and thanks the community for their patience and understanding.

If there are any questions or concerns, please call Barett Otani, Information and Education Specialist, at 961-8787.

Registration Deadline Extended for ‘Ohana Shoreline Fishing Tournament

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation has extended the registration deadline for its 20th Annual ‘Ohana Shoreline Fishing Tournament until Friday, August 12.

Ohana Fishing Tournament fishCompleted registration forms must be turned in to the Recreation Division office located at 799 Pi‘ilani Street in Hilo or postmarked by Friday, August 12. Registration forms, along with tournament rules, are available at County Parks and Recreation facilities island-wide, S. Tokunaga Store in Hilo and J. Hara Store in Kurtistown. The forms also can be found online at: http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation/.

The ‘Ohana Shoreline Fishing Tournament will open Friday, August 19, and end with weigh-ins conducted from noon until 1:30 p.m. Sunday, August 21, at Honoka‘a Gymnasium.

Separate divisions are offered for keiki 5 to 12 years old, teens, men, women, kūpuna at least 55 years old, and ‘ohana or families. There also will be a barbless circle hook challenge. Entry fee is either $25 or $30 per person or family, depending on the division entered. Please make checks payable to “County Director of Finance.”

For more information about the ‘Ohana Shoreline Fishing Tournament, please call Jayme Carvalho at 962-2109 or 936-4285.

Justin Bieber on The Big Island NOW – Staying at Waterfalling Estate

Well the buzz has been going around town that folks have been seeing Justin Bieber on the Big Island of Hawaii, with reports that he was seen cruising at 4 mile beach earlier today as well as reports that he was seen at Rainbow Falls.

Bieber was seen cruising around the 4 mile beach area of Hilo today.

Bieber was seen cruising around the 4 mile beach area of Hilo today.

Scott Watson the developer of Waterfalling Estates confirmed that Justin Bieber is staying at the place that he developed in a Facebook post.

Watson wrote:

“I just left WaterFalling where Justin Bieber is staying for 2 weeks.  He’s kicking it with 7 girls and a couple of his buddies.  I couldn’t get a picture with him, his body guard wouldn’t let me go the last few feet to shake his hand.  Oh well, looks like I’m gonna be a Swifty instead.

Justin Bieber in Hilo

Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting Station Opens at Hilo Airport

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT), Airports Division, celebrated the opening of the new Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) station at the Hilo International Airport today. The new two-story, 21,000 square-foot facility includes an emergency operations center, four drive-through truck bays, a fueling area, along with improved work and living quarters for firefighters. The facility will also accommodate larger sized ARFF vehicles and provide training facilities to help firefighters perform at their highest capabilities.

Hilo Airport Fire Station

“Keeping airport users safe is an enormous responsibility that we take to heart. This new and improved fire station will help our dedicated state firefighters and emergency medical responders with their day to day responsibilities, which includes responding to emergencies,” said Ford Fuchigami, Hawaii Department of Transportation Director.

Nearly 87-percent of the $18.8 million total was provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The Airports Division provided the remaining $3 million. The new station is fully compliant with FAA requirements.

Photo via Friends of Kai Kahele

Photo via Friends of Kai Kahele

“We extend our gratitude to the FAA leadership for their support and dedication in bringing these improvements to Hilo,” said Ross Higashi, HDOT Deputy Director of the Airports Division. “We also thank the skilled firefighters and emergency medical responders who rush to an emergency when called upon.”

The exact move in date will be coordinated with HDOT and the contractor to ensure there is no lapse in coverage during the transition to the new facility.

Editors Note: Senator Kai Kahele was at the blessing and the following was stated on Facebook:

Today was a very special day for Fire Chief Nawai Chartrand, his fire Ohana and our Hilo community. Senator Kaiali’i Kahele along with State and County officials gathered this morning to bless the brand new $18.8 million Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Facility at the Hilo International Airport.

Photo via Friends of Kai Kahele

Photo via Friends of Kai Kahele

This project in particular holds a special place in Senator Kaiali’iʻs heart. During the 2014 legislative session, the former Senator Gil worked very hard to secure the States portion of $3 million. Two years later, on this very day, the doors are open and the hale is filled. A special mahalo nui loa to Nan Inc., for building such a beautiful facility, on time and on budget.

“Active Shooter” Presentation in Hilo

The Hawaiʻi Police Department will make an “active shooter” presentation in Hilo on Wednesday, August 3.

Active Shooter

The presentation, which is open to the public, will take place from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Aunty Sally Kaleohano’s Luʻau Hale at 799 Piʻilani Street.

It is designed to help individuals increase their survivability should they encounter an active shooter or other type of active violent incident. Police will provide information on previous incidents of mass violence, recent events, best practices for those caught in such situations, law enforcement’s response, and how to work together as a community toward prevention. They will also provide additional resources for participants so they can continue their education on this topic, followed by a question-and answer segment.

Persons unable to attend may obtain “active shooter” information by viewing the “Active Shooter/Violence Awareness” page on the Hawaiʻi Police Department’s website (www.hawaiipolice.com) under the “Services” tab.

Aloha First Friday Continues in Hilo

Downtown Hilo’s Aloha First Friday continues on Friday, August 5th with a block party on Kalākaua Street. The free family festivities begin at 5pm with swing dancing on the lānai at East Hawaii Cultural Center.

block party

Performances in Kalākaua Park include Tahitian dancing by Merahi Productions plus live music beginning with Ben Kaili. Following Ben, some of Hilo’s greatest musicians will be jamming together as “JMSW”, which features Marcie Dasalla on lead vocals, Jeff Enriques on bass, Steve Bader on drums, and Wes Matsuda on guitar and keyboards.

In addition to the live music and dancing, there will be a keiki fun zone in the park, with a giant bouncer and other fun keiki activities. Food trucks and street vendors will add to the festival atmosphere. For vendor applications and more info, please visit downtownhilo.com/firstfriday/.

Hilo Focus of Series Episode on KGMB Tomorrow Night

“Wahi pana” is defined as a celebrated legendary place or landmark of special interest and historical significance. Hilo is a place of ancient prophecy, natural disasters and the revival of Hawaiian culture. From the rise of Kamehameha the Great to the devastating tsunami on April 1, 1946 to the world-renowned Merrie Monarch Festival, Hilo is where the old and new meet.

Wahi Pana

“Wahi Pana: Hawai‘i’s Special Places” takes viewers beyond the name to get to know Hilo, airing Wednesday, July 20, at 6:30 p.m. on KGMB (re-air Wednesday, July 27, at 6:30 p.m. on KHNL).

Local nonprofit Partners in Development Foundation (PIDF) commissioned the “Wahi Pana” films as part of their Tūtū and Me Traveling Preschool program, an innovative preschool model with 28 sites statewide. PIDF partnered with Hawaii News Now to showcase the films to a broader audience.

“The sense of place is an important Hawaiian tradition that has powerful applications in the lives of our children, families and leaders,” said Jan E. Hanohano Dill, PIDF President. “Mahalo to the late, award-winning director, editor and videographer Don Mapes for directing and producing and Hawaii News Now for airing this very special program.”

“We are very proud and excited to partner with PIDF in sharing this incredible collection of beautiful programs showcasing the rich history and beauty of our islands in a way that most of us have never seen before,” said Rick Blangiardi, General Manager of Hawaii News Now.

Future episodes set to air include Hawai‘i Island’s North Kohala and Waimea; Maui’s Lahaina; and O‘ahu’s Waiheʻe Valley.

New Traffic Signals Being Installed at Mohouli and Kapiolani Intersection

The Department of Public Works Traffic Division will be working on the new traffic signals at the Mohouli St. and Kapi‘olani St. intersection on Wednesday July 27, 2016.

Kapiolani Light

The traffic signals will be energized and tested for functionality.  Special off-duty police officers will be posted at the intersection to facilitate traffic movement during the working hours of 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., weather conditions permitting.

Motorists are advised to drive with caution as the signals will be placed in flash mode for 24 hours (flashing yellow light on Mohouli St. and flashing red light on Kapi‘olani St.).  The traffic signals on all four approaches to the intersection will be operational on Thursday, July 28, 2016.  Work is still in progress on the Kapi‘olani St. Extension between Mohouli St. and Lanikāula St. and will remain closed to through traffic.

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause and thanks the community for their patience and understanding.

If there are any questions or concerns, please call Barett Otani, Information and Education Specialist, at 961-8787.

Early Registration Fee for Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp Extended

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation is extending the discounted early-registration fee for its 4th Annual Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp that returns to Hilo July 26-29.

Yagi

Parents who have not yet signed up their keiki may still take advantage of the reduced $60 per-child entry fee that was to have expired July 13.   New registrations will be accepted up until the first day of camp July 26.

Registration forms are available at the Department’s Recreation office located within Aunty Sally Kaleohano’s Lū‘au Hale at 799 Pi‘ilani Street in Hilo, county gyms, and online at http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation/.

Please make checks payable to the “County Director of Finance” and include the note “Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp.”

The Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp is named in honor of the legendary former UH-Hilo men’s basketball coach who helped guide the Vulcans-Hawai‘i Basketball School for 37 years. Open to boys and girls 9 to 17 years old, the camp will be held at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium and the Pana‘ewa Covered Play Courts, which feature new flooring.

A team of coaches will instruct and supervise campers as they practice agility, ball-handling and other drills during morning skill sessions.
Following a lunch break, players will showcase what they’ve learned by competing in games expected to last until about 3:30 p.m. each day. Special awards will be presented to outstanding participants at the close of the four-day camp.

Meet 90-Year-Old Dancer Dorothy Williams from America’s Got Talent #AGTDorothy

Hawaii has a new celebrity on their hands and she is 90-year-old Dorothy Williams.

Dorothy

90-year-old Dorothy Williams in her home in the Kaumana area of Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Williams gained international fame last week as the 90-year-old stripper on America’s Got Talent that was awarded the “Golden Buzzer Award” from Nick Cannon and is now moving on to the “LIVE” show.

Williams is also known around the Big Island as "Yummy the Clown".

Williams is also known around the Big Island as “Yummy the Clown”.

Today, I had the chance to ask her a few questions over a few interviews and without revealing too much about her next appearance, this is what I’m able to release at this time.

Part I:

Part II:

Dorothy Williams 059

Williams can still be seen driving this car around town!

Williams leaves again for Hollywood this Sunday and she is scheduled to appear on the live show on NBC on Tuesday, July 26th at 7:00 pm.

It will be up to the audience and judges to decide if she goes on further but we all know that no matter how she does on the show… she will always be a part of our “Welcome Wagon” here on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Roadway Resurfacing Work on Kekuanaoa St. to Begin on July 25th

UPDATE: Our Highways Division has notified me that they are extending the resurfacing work from Hīnano St. to Kīlauea Ave. (originally from Mililani St. to Kīlauea St.)

The County Highway Maintenance Division will begin resurfacing work on Kekūanāo’a St. between Mililani St. and Kīlauea Ave. on Monday, July 25, 2016 and estimated to be completed on Monday, August 8, 2016.  Working hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, weather conditions permitting.

road work 713Motorists are advised to expect delays and to drive with caution as heavy vehicles and machinery will be in the work zone.  One lane closures, alternate lane closures, lane shifts will be in effect and at a minimum, one lane of travel (for two way traffic) will be provided at all times through the construction area.  The lane closures are necessary to complete the roadway resurfacing work in a timely manner and for the safety of the workers and the traveling public.

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause and thanks the community for their patience and understanding.

If there are any questions or concerns, please contact Barett Otani, Information and Education Specialist at 961-8787.

Shana Logan Shares “The Meaning of Aloha” at Free Brown Bag Talk

The non-profit Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center hosts a free talk on July 21 as part of their “Finding Solutions, Growing Peace” Brown Bag Lunch Series.  Talks are Third Thursdays from 12 noon to 1 pm in the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney at 655 Kilauea Avenue in Hilo.

This month’s speaker is Shana Logan on “The Meaning of Aloha” and traditional Hawaiian practices of peace.

Click to read

Click to read

The Aloha Spirit Law (HRS 5-7.5) and Ke Kanawai Mamalahoe (Article 9, Sec. 10 of the Hawai‘i State Constitution) are important historical edicts that can be powerful tools in resolving today’s legal and ethical issues–through traditional, peaceful practices in the operations and decisions of government and in the personal lives of its citizens,” says Logan.

In this talk, Logan shares her mana‘o on the literal and metaphorical meanings of Aloha and accompanying Hawaiian values.

Shana Logan is a native Hawaiian writer and educator.  She is the owner of Aloha Consultants, a small local media company based in Hilo.  She received her bachelor’s degree in Communications from Hawai’i Pacific University and a Liberal Arts associate’s degree with an emphasis in Hawaiian Studies from the University of Hawai’i Windward Community College.

Ku‘ikahi’s Brown Bag Lunch Series is free and open to the public.  Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunch, enjoy an informal and educational talk-story session, and meet others interested in “Finding Solutions, Growing Peace.”

This lunch-and-learn series is made possible thanks in part to funding from the Atherton Family Foundation.  For more information, contact Ku‘ikahi Administrative & Program Assistant Jenifer Aveiro at 935-7844 x 1 or jenifer@hawaiimediation.org.  Or visit www.hawaiimediaiton.org.

DOE Removing Monkey Pod Tree on Waianuenue Avenue

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) announced yesterday that it will remove a monkey pod tree from the entrance of the district office on Waianuenue Avenue.

monkey pod tree

In June an arborist reported the tree suffers from severe rot and its condition has reached a stage that may result in its fall, causing a safety hazard.

The tree is over 50 years old and has a canopy spread of over 100 feet and a height of 60 feet to 70 feet.  The tree’s limbs are hollow from rot and estimated to weigh 15 to 20 tons.

Based on the evaluation and safety risk to the public, HIDOE will be removing the tree.  HIDOE has hired Tree Works for the tree removal, which will take place sometime before the school year begins on Aug. 1. Until that time, the area around the tree is prohibited from access.

Zonta Hilo Awards $2,500 to Young Women Pursing Higher Education

The Zonta Club of Hilo presented $2,500 in scholarships and awards to five outstanding Hawaii Island young women at the club’s June monthly business meeting. Three high school seniors were recognized for the Young Women in Public Affairs (YWPA) award and two University of Hawaii at Hilo (UHH) students were awarded nursing scholarships.

 “Zonta Club of Hilo service chair Julie Tulang with the club’s 2016 nursing scholarship winner Poki‘i Balaz, club president Tonya Ozone and YWPA 2016 award recipients Makena Wagner, Zoi Nakamura and Cassidy Kelii.”

“Zonta Club of Hilo service chair Julie Tulang with the club’s 2016 nursing scholarship winner Poki‘i Balaz, club president Tonya Ozone and YWPA 2016 award recipients Makena Wagner, Zoi Nakamura and Cassidy Kelii.”

The YWPA award recognizes young women committed to volunteering, who demonstrate leadership skills and are dedicated to empowering women and girls. Applicants are asked to reflect on their volunteer work and problems limiting advancement of the status of women in their community and worldwide.

  • Makena Wagner, a senior at Kamehameha High School, received the first place $500 YWPA award. “Finding ways to give back is not just good for self-esteem, but it leaves one wanting to do more,” said Wagner, who will be attending Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.
  • Waiakea High School junior Zoi Nakamura was second place for YWPA and received $400. “I’ve set my mind on completing a course of study that’s based on service; that’s why I chose the Public Service Academy at school,” said Nakamura.
  • Third place for YWPA and $300 went to Cassidy Kelii, a senior at Kamehameha High School. Kelii will pursue a degree in political science on the mainland and said she will return to Hawaii to practice law. Kelii is president of an all-girl construction club.
  • Kealohaku‘ualohaku‘upoki‘i “Poki‘i” Balaz, who is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Nursing Practice at UH Hilo, received the club’s $1,000 nursing scholarship. Balaz said taking care of her parents inspired her to specialize in geriatric care. Balaz earned her Bachelor of Science in nursing from UH Manoa and Master of Science in nursing from Oklahoma City University.
  • Carola Geitner, a junior pursuing her Bachelor of Science in nursing at UH Hilo, was second place for the nursing scholarship and received a $300 cash award. Geitner, who was responsible for the health and well-being of her younger sister at the age of seven, says the sense of caring and desire to look after people and their health fueled her interest in wanting to become a nurse.

About Zonta Club of Hilo
The Zonta Club of Hilo was founded in 1950 and is part of Zonta International, a global organization whose mission is to empower women through service and advocacy. To learn more about the club’s service projects, special events, advocacy efforts and scholarship opportunities, visit zontahilo.org. Facebook // Instagram @ZontaHIlo

90-Year-Old Stripper on Americas Got Talent is From Hilo, Hawaii!!!

Spoiler alert for Hawaii folks… the 90-year-old stripper on tonight’s America’s Got Talent is Dorothy Williams from Hilo, Hawaii!  Williams has been known to many around the Big Island of Hawaii as “Yummy The Clown” entertaining children at many birthday parties over the years.

90-Year-Old stripper Dorothy Williams earned the first-ever Golden Buzzer from host Nick Cannon on America’s Got Talent 2016 on Tuesday, July 5, 2016!

90-Year-Old stripper Dorothy Williams earned the first-ever Golden Buzzer from host Nick Cannon on America’s Got Talent 2016 on Tuesday, July 5, 2016!

Dorothy was born in 1946 26, and has been dancing virtually all her life. Honestly, she looks great for being 90-years-old. She tells her story, talking about how she hadn’t become a star by 23, so she didn’t know what to do with her life. So she worked at a supermarket for 25 years until she and her husband moved to Hawaii. But she never forgot her passion for dancing, so she’s back to give it another shot. Dorothy starts out by singing “Let Me Entertain You”…and then does a strip tease!

Read more: http://www.rickey.org/nick-cannon-hits-golden-buzzer-for-90-year-old-stripper-on-americas-got-talent-video/296216/#ixzz4DamxJNcP

Community Invited to Unite Against Hatred at LGBT Pride Parade July 9th

The Fourth Annual LGBT Pride Parade and Festival will be held on July 9th in downtown Hilo with the theme “Live, Love, Be”. The celebration will begin at noon, followed by a festival at the Mo’oheau Park Bandstand featuring live music, food, crafts, information booths, and a play area for keiki.

Pride Parade

“Everyone is invited to join us in celebration of LGBT Pride,” said Greg Lupton, Hawaii Island Pride Committee Chair. “Whether you’re gay, trans, genderqueer, or an ally — this is our chance to join together in a colorful chorus of pride and creativity.”

This year’s celebration will feature a drag show and live music from GLB&T (Groovy Lesbian Band & Tim), Puna Men’s Chorus, Bruddah Kuz Band, and Soulstice Band.  Any individuals or organizations who want to walk in the parade can submit a free parade entry form online and arrive by 11am.

Big Island’s transgender community will be specifically honored at this year’s celebration.  “The trans community has fought for gender and sexual equality for generations,” said Sadie Dossett, a genderqueer student at UH Hilo. “Gender nonconformity is a lightning rod for hate-filled legislation and homophobic violence. Being honored at the Parade is a great step towards creating a more accepting and inclusive community.”

“Pride is even more important than ever in the aftermath of this month’s tragedy at Pulse nightclub in Orlando,” said Josslyn Cruz, Big Island Puerto Rican Diva. “Many of us have looked hatred in the eyes and could’ve easily been victims ourselves.  Orlando is the latest in a pattern of homophobic violence our LGBT people, and we refuse to let haters cloud our pride.”

In addition to this year’s parade and festival, Hawaii Island Pride will also be hosting a Peace Vigil for Victims of Hatred on Sunday, July 10th.  The public is invited to light a candle to honor lives lost in Orlando and across the world in the fight for equality.

Additional information about Hawaii Island Pride can be found at HawaiiIslandPride.org or on Facebook.