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International Peace Day Parade & Festival This Weekend in Honoka’a

Honokaa town is ramping up the 5th Annual Parade & Festival for the United Nations International Day of Peace, Sunday, September 18, 2011.  Stepping off at 11 a.m. from Honokaa High School, the Peace Day Parade is a “moving stage” of Taiko drums, marching bands, bon dance, belly dancers, robots, jazz, rock & roll, hula, a circus and more entertainment with a message.

Special honorees for the 2011 Peace Day events will be Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCV’s), in celebration of Peace Day and the Peace Corps’ 50th Anniversary this year.  At least eight couples (our “lovebirds”), all of whom met and married during, or as a result of, their service in Peace Corps, have chosen to make their home in the Hamakua District.  They, along with numerous other RPCV’s, will be special honorees in the Peace Day festivities.

Before and after the Parade, a Peace Day Festival takes place at the Honokaa Sports Complex 10 a.m.-4 p.m., with great local and ethnic foods, artists and crafters, live entertainment, numerous governmental agencies from the Rural Outreach Services Initiative and a large Bon Dance for everyone to join. Featured entertainment includes John Keawe, Terminal Circus, Honokaa High School Jazz Band, Ryukyukoku Matsuri taiko group, and an open community bon dance session.

In addition, the 1st Annual “Run for Peace,” a 5K/3.1-mile run open to everyone, will start at 10:45 a.m., from the Honokaa High School Football Field.  Registration starts at 9:30 a.m.  Entry Fee of $15 includes “Peace Day Parade” T-shirt. (For high school cross-country teams, special terms and conditions apply.)  $100 cash prizes will be awarded to the fastest male and female finishers and $50 for the best Peace costume.  For more information, please visit www.peacedayparade.org or contact Jim Atkins, steelsprings@yahoo.com, 962-0110.

Peace-related events continue throughout the month of September.  On Thursday, September 22, the Sakura Ensemble will perform a concert of peace music at “Read for Peace,” Honokaa Library at 6 p.m., sponsored by the Friends of Hamakua Libraries and the Peace Committee.

And, from now to September 29, the Wailoa Art & Cultural Center in Hilo hosts an exhibit of children’s Peace Posters in its Fountain Gallery, open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday from noon to 4:30 p.m.  Admission is free. (For additional information about the Center please call 933-0416 or email wailoa@yahoo.com).

The 5th Annual Parade & Festival for the United Nations International Day of Peace are presented by the Peace Committee of the Honokaa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple in cooperation with the United Nations and numerous community organizations. Major financial support has been provided by the County of Hawaii Department of Research and Development (Tourism Division) CPEP and the Social Concerns Committee of the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii.

For more information visit www.PeaceDayParade.org or email info@peacedayparade.org

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