Waikiki Holiday Parade

Waikiki Holiday Parade
Photo: waikikiholidayparade.com
On the Friday after Thanksgiving Day, the city of Honolulu hosts the Waikiki Holiday Parade. While most parades held on or around Thanksgiving Day are primarily designed to kick off the holiday season, the main goal of Honolulu’s parade is to commemorate the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

On December 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy carried out a surprise military strike against the US naval base at Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. As a result of the 90-minute attack, almost 2,500 Americans were killed and over 1,000 others were wounded, and 188 American aircraft were destroyed. The attack on Pearl Harbor led to the United States’ entry into the Second World War in both the Pacific and European theaters.

The first Waikiki Holiday Parade was held in 1998. It was founded by Jake Peppers to commemorate the anniversary of the attack and honor Pearl Harbor survivors. The event aims to educate students on this important piece of the country’s history and contribute to the preservation of Polynesian culture. Besides, the parade also kicks off the holiday season for locals, starting the countdown until Christmas.

On the Friday after Thanksgiving Day, thousands of spectators, both locals and visitors, gather in Waikiki, a beachfront neighborhood of Honolulu, to watch the parade. It features marching bands from all over the country, local Hawaiian bands, service bands, military units, local officials, entertainers, and Pearl Harbor survivors.

The parade begins at Fort DeRussy Park and ends at Queen Kapiolani Park, traveling along the neighborhood’s main thoroughfare, Kalakaua Avenue. It concludes with a wreath laying ceremony held at the USS Arizona Memorial which marks the resting place of sailors and Marines of the USS Arizona killed during the attack. Commemorative performances are held at the USS Missouri battleship.

Unlike most Thanksgiving Day parades which are typically held in the morning, the Waikiki Holiday Parade is a nighttime event. It starts at 7 pm. A spectacular fireworks display begins at 7.30.

Waikiki Holiday Parade




Related Articles