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What is the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade?

a small boat in a large body of water

December 7th, 1941 is a day that will live on in American history as a day of extreme tragedy. Each year on December 7th in Honolulu, a commemorative parade is held in remembrance of the more than 2,300 members of the United States armed forces and United States civilians who tragically lost their lives on that day in 1941. Each year on December 7th, thousands gather in Honolulu to honor the fallen and watch the commemorative memorial parade that takes place. The parade aims to create a meaningful tribute to veterans and the armed forces of the United States.

The USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Photo by Robert Linder on Unsplash

The Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade features floats, classic cars, balloons, and performances by cheer teams, marching bands, and many others. The marching bands that perform during the parade are an important part of the day. Many of these marching bands are made up of high school students from Hawaii and high school students who travel from the US mainland to perform at the parade. During the commemorative parade in 2016, 19 high school marching bands performed, representing 18 different American states. 

Where to Watch the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade

The parade route of the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade is very similar to many other parades that take place in Honolulu. The Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade begins on Kalakaua Avenue, right in front of Fort Derussy Park. Then, the parade route travels down Kalakaua Avenue for one mile through the heart of Waikiki. Then the route takes Monsarrat Avenue to the Waikiki Shell, where an evening concert will take place. The Waikiki Shell is an outdoor concert venue located in Kapiolani Park. 

Prior to the memorial parade starting, there is an opening ceremony that will be held at Fort Derussy Park. This past year, the opening ceremony began at 4:30 PM at Fort Derussy Park. The parade began at 6:00 PM. A closing ceremony was held at 7:30 PM. Spectators watching the parade usually choose to sit or stand on the sidewalks or curbs along the parade route. Due to the parade, traffic and parking may be affected in the Waikiki area before, during, and after the parade is held.

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