The beginnings of the Merrie Monarch Festival, 1964.

Hilo Plans Gay Events For Kalakaua Festival

Advertiser Staff Writer

HILO — A parade, with Duke Kahanamoku as grand marshal.

A relay race, with boys using fresh mullet as batons.

A beard contest, with some 50 entrants expected.

A bicycle race, from Kohala to Hilo.

A town, done over in the era of Hawaii’s “Merry Monarch,” King Kalakaua.

These are just a few of the things being set up as Hilo goes into the final weeks of preparation for its “Merry Monarch Festival,” scheduled to take place here from April 1 to 4.

* * *

THE FESTIVAL a special project of the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce, is ending at Mooheau Park, and will include floats, five marching bands, an antique auto section, marching units and pa’u riders. Duke Kahanamoku will ride in an open car as grand marshal. Following the parade, a “coronation pageant,” with the Big Island’s King and Queen of Aloha Week being crowned as Kalakaua and Kapiolani will be held in the Hilo Armory. They will reign over the festivities. That evening,at 8 p.m.a coronation ball is scheduled, also in the armory.

* * *

THURSDAY’S features will include a pageant entitled “Hawaii’s Crowns,” a presentation of Hawaii’s rulers from King Kamehameha I to Queen Liliuokalani, at the Hilo Armory  at 7 p.m., and a street dance in the bayfront area from  8 to 10 p.m.

On Friday, April 3, the Roosevelt High School Band will present a concert at 3 p.m. in the Mooheau Park, and pageant entitled “The Jubilant Years” will be presented in the Hilo Armory. It is the story of King Kalakaua’s trip around the world and his return for the coronation.

On Friday night, at 9 p.m., a fireworks display, sponosred by the Downtown Improvement Assn. will be held in the Mooheau park area. The Hilo Interpreters Club will handle the fireworks.

* * *

FOLLOWING the display, another night of street dancing, from 9:30 p.m. until midnight, is scheduled.

Saturday will be the grand finale of the festival.

At 7 a.m., a 90-mile bicycle race, from Kapaau, Kohala, to Hilo, is scheduled to start. The riders are expected to arrive in Hilo about 6 p.m.

At 9:30 a.m. is a fish relay race, with 12 teams of Explorer Scouts competing. They will race fromMooheau Park, through downtown Hilo and Puueo, and back to the park. There will be seven relays in the four-mile race, and each boy will be running with a fresh mullet in his hand.

At 10:30 a.m. will be the finals of the mustache-sideburns contest, at Mooheau Park. For months now, some 50 Hiloans have been sprouting whiskers in an effort to capture prizes of $100, $50 and $25, with a special merchandise award going to the wife of the first prize winner. The wife will receive the award as “The Most Understanding Wife of 1963.”

* * *

FOLLOWING THE mustache competition will be the finals of the barbershop quartet contest, also at Mooheau Park. Prizes of $100, $40 and $25 will be awarded to the top three quartets in that competition.

A concert by the Roosevelt High School Band has been set for 1 p.m., at Mooheau Park, and at 3 p.m., a pentathalon of Hawaiian games is scheduled in the park. Also at 3 p.m. Saturday, the Hawaii County Band will present a concert at the Hilo Shopping Center.

The grand finale of the festival is a three-place, Merry Monarch Ball, to be held at the Naniloa Hotel, Hilo Hotel and Club Hukilau. The ball will begin at 9 p.m., and will continue until midnight at the hotels and until 2 a.m. at the Club Hukilau.

* * *

THE CORONATION Ball on Wednesday and the final ball on Saturday night are the only things the public was asked to pay for.

The admission to any one of the three final balls will allow admission to the other two.

A dozen Royal Guards from the special unit recently reformed on Oahu, are scheduled to come to Hilo to serve as an escort for the King and Queen.

Two Navy ships will be in the Hilo Harbor for the weekend. They are the USS Pickeral, a submarine, and the USS Grapple, a rescue ship. Crewmen have been invited to participate in the festival events.

* * *

A BEER GARDEN, serving draft beer and vaudeville entertainment, has been planned for the Hoffschlaeger Building, at the corner of Haili and Keawe Streets.

Negotiations are underway for the presentation of “Hawaii Calls” from Hilo during the festival.

Merchants and the steering committee have ordered some 8,820 feet of bunting for decorations of storefronts building, and such. In addition, the merchants plan a window display contest.

Several Hilo clubs are planning concession food booths in the Mooheau Park area during the event.

(Star-Bulletin, 3/22/1864, p. A9)


Star-Bulletin, 109th Year, Number 54,341, Page A9. March 22, 1864.

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