Thousands participate in annual Independence Day Parade in Kailua

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It may not be a parade full of colorful floats, but to the thousands who turned out to the 67th annual Independence Day Parade in Kailua – the red, white and blue was more than enough reason to celebrate.

“As our country goes through a challenging time, as well as the rest of the world, we are so thankful for our independence and our freedom that we have and the community can come together and celebrate that,” parade co-chair John Keene said.

Some dressed in their festive best, even furry friends like Hokulani. The 1.5 mile stretch of Kainalu Drive lined with tents, many showed up the night before.

“It’s traditional, we’ve been here for I don’t know how many years, it’s terrific,” Kailua resident Norman Dung said.

Dignitaries from the past and present kicked off the parade. Active duty Marines and veterans were honored along the way. Everyone showing their respect for those who fight for our rights.

Some took note of their parade favorites.

“The bagpipes, yeah the Scottish people,” Debbie Gasparenas and Ami Stepanin said.

“Well it’s a gorgeous day out here in Kailua today, the sun is shining, which is quite hot, so we’ve got Calvary Chapel here offering free shaved ice and snow flakes, and I’ve got myself some right here and it’s really good, so keeping us nice and cool out here in Kailua today,” Kanoe Gibson with KHON2 News said.

“We’re offering free shaved ice, and popcorn and cold drinks, we have our bathrooms open, we want to make sure that our church is open because it’s air-conditioned, some people get really hot so they can go in there and kind of rest,” Calvary Chapel Pastor Wendell Choy said.

Pastor Wendell Choy says this holiday is extra special.

“Living in this great country, we get to worship God, other countries get oppressed, we don’t, so we’re grateful to all the men and women who gave their lives to insure our freedom,” Choy said.


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