A Cherished Holiday Island Tradition
The holidays are here and that means it’s time for one of the most beloved community events on the Big Island – the Waimea Christmas Twilight Parade! Now in its 59th year, the Waimea Christmas Parade is the second oldest parade in the state.
Always held on the first Saturday in December. This year’s parade is on December 7th from 5:30pm– 7:30pm and the theme is “Our Community…Our Kuleana At Christmas and Always!” The parade supports The Big Island Giving Tree to ensure no one is left behind during the holiday season.
Winter in Waimea
With its signature lighted trucks and Santa float, this parade is a true community event involving dozens of groups from across the island ranging in age from Keiki (children) to Kupuna (seniors.)
Waimea’s cooler temperatures make it feel like wintertime – even though we are in Hawaii. Be prepared to dress warm! It can get chilly at night in Waimea – think sweaters, coats and hats.
Coming Soon…Snowcapped Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa
This parade attracts big crowds and you will definitely want to get to Waimea early to find a space along the parade route. Families bring lawn chairs, blankets, and coolers – some even set up tents along the parade route. Don’t forget the thermos of hot chocolate and an umbrella in case of rain.
Photo courtesy of Nancy Carr Smith, RB
Parade Day Offers Many Community Events
Over the years, other community events have sprung up on the same day and if you don’t live in Waimea, you will want to make a day of it. There are several craft fairs across downtown Waimea on parade day. The craft fair at Parker Ranch Shopping Center is particularly busy, featuring dozens of local artisans selling local art, hand made items, and products. There are some very talented artists at these craft fairs and you’ll find items that make ideal holiday gifts.
Bear in mind that Mamalahoa Highway (Highway 19) shuts down to traffic running through Waimea Town Center from 5:30 – 7:30pm, and only emergency vehicles will be let through until the parade finishes. So plan ahead and expect delays. The parade starts at Waimea’s Historic Church Row, and ends at Waimea Community’s Anuenue Park.
Pictures with Santa
If you have kids or grandkids, you will want to stick around after the parade and visit with Santa at Parker Ranch Center. Children can have a free picture taken with Santa and there will be goody bags for all children, while supplies last.
Giving Joy to All!
In the spirit of the season, parade organizers encourage parade participants and spectators to support the Big Island Giving Tree, a charitable organization that focuses on supporting Kupuna and Working Families year round, who struggle to make ends meet while making an honest living.
For more information on the Waimea Christmas Parade, go to waimeatown.org.