By Barry Villamil
Mahalo to everyone who came out with family, friends, and neighbors to enjoy a great time filled with the Christmas spirit of giving and happiness on Sunday at the annual Pearl City Shopping Center Christmas Parade.
There are so many supporters of the annual Pearl City Shopping Center Christmas Parade to thank for being a part of this year’s parade. Mahalo to my co-chair partners Irwin Santos and Patti Rabacal for their exceptional leadership and extraordinary multi-tasking abilities that were front and center from start to finish in the planning process and execution of presenting and running a first-class community parade.
I would like to say mahalo to HPD Officer Anson Paiva from the Pearl City District 3 Community Policing Team and 9 other HPD Officers who kept the Christmas parade route flowing and safe for participants and parade onlookers in the neighborhood along the 2=mile parade route.
Over 48 Marching and Vehicle Units paraded down the parade route which began on Hookiekie Street fronting Momilani Elementary School, made a right turn on to Hoomoana Street and a left turn on Hoolaulea Street and proceeded all the way to the Pearl City Shopping Center.
Announcers and sound systems were positioned on Hoolaulea Street fronting Highlands Intermediate School and near the entrance to the shopping center on Hoolaulea Street as the parade participants made their way on to the shopping center property. The announcers greeted the parade participants while announcing their company, organization, school history and bio’s.
Neighbors, as well as visitors to our Pearl City community lined neighborhood sidewalks while cheering on over 1100 parade participants as they passed by, some with goodies that were handed out to the crowd.
The 2023 Pearl City Shopping Center Christmas Parade was an amazing success with so many wonderful and spirited participants, many who return each year much to the delight of the crowded and packed parade route.
First time Christmas parade participants like the United States Marine Corps Marching Band, elevated the Christmas spirit on Sunday while thrilling and exciting the crowd with their music and precision style marching cadence.
All Christmas parade registered participants had the opportunity to compete for cash awards and trophies in the following categories while being judged on the parade route:
Best Marching Unit, Best Vehicle Unit, and Most Spirited
Trophies were awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in each category. $100.00 cash awards were given to 1st place finishers in each category. Some of the award winners represented Momilani Elementary, Palisades Elementary, Waiau Elementary, and Our Lady of Good Council School, Girl Scouts – Ka’ahumanu Service Unit, Tama Nui (Tahitian Dance Group). Also, BLEIZEN FX with their core of Classic Cars and Hot Rods took home a prized trophy. BLEIZEN FX also hosted a car show following the parade and awards ceremony on the Pearl City Shopping Center property near Union 76.
Congratulations to the Award Winners:
Best Christmas Spirit
1st – Our Lady of Good Counsel
2nd – Waiau Elementary
3rd – Girls Scouts – Kaahumanu Service Unit
Best Marching Unit
1st – Pearl City Elementary
2nd – Momilani Elementary
3rd – Pearl City Afterschool Hula
Best Vehicle Unit
1st – Here Tama Nui
2nd – VW Club of Hawaii
3rd – BLEIZEN FX
The Pearl City Shopping Center Merchants Association proudly sponsors annual check donations to Pearl City High School’s Project Grad Program ($1000.00), and to the Pearl City High School Charger Marching Band Program ($500.00). The check donations are presented to representatives of each of the Pearl City High School programs during the Christmas parade awards ceremony.
I would like to thank our amazing Christmas parade announcers/emcees, sound, and video/photo team. Also, the Pearl City Shopping Center Security Team for keeping everything running smoothly on the Pearl City Shopping Center property.
A special mahalo to Pearl City High School and community volunteers who volunteered their time at the Christmas parade registration booth, parade participant line-up, and served as parade route Marshal’s,
Mahalo to Pearl City Shopping Center owner Duane Kurisu for generously supporting the annual Pearl City Shopping Christmas Parade while giving back to the community for their loyal patronage to Pearl City Shopping Center Merchants.
There is a special bond between the community and the Pearl City Shopping Center that has grown in the past 60 years as generations of ohana come together to contribute and share in the success of the Pearl City community.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday’s!
Video and photos by Barry Villamil | MyPearlCity.com