The fifth Kaua‘i Pride Parade and Festival that will happen in Lihu‘e on Saturday, June 3 is the highlight of June being celebrated as Pride Month.
“In 2018, the Kauai Pride Parade Committee formed to create an all-ages, family-friendly event to honor and celebrate its LGBTQ+ community members, ‘ohana, friends and allies, and for young people to see themselves reflected in their community and know that they belong,” states a mayoral proclamation that announced June as LGBTQ+ and Pride Month.
“For decades, the LGBTQ+ communities and their allies have joined together to march in the streets and bring attention to the discrimination against LGBTQ+ people,” the proclamation states.
”These marches have since evolved into worldwide celebrations of families, allies and communities of people embracing their differences and coming together in support and love for one another.”
This year’s Kaua‘i Pride Parade, with sponsor YWCA of Kaua‘i, will feature more than 30 units that will take the streets from Vidinha Stadium to the lawn of the Historic County Building at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
The Kaua‘i Police Department announced special traffic advisories for the parade that will start at Vidinha Stadium, head down Ho‘olako and Rice streets, and turn on ‘Umi Street before ending at the roundabout near Elsie Wilcox Elementary School.
The roads on the parade route will be closed to regular traffic from 8:45 until 10:15 a.m. Police officers will be manning the closures and directing traffic flow.
Additionally, The Kaua‘i Bus Lihu‘e Shuttle Route 70 will not service bus stops on Rice Street during the closure. Bus riders are advised to utilize alternate bus stops to get to their destinations.
The parade ends at the festival with more than 15 vendors and entertainment until 2 p.m. at the lawn of the Historic County Building.
“This is not just for the LGBTQ+ community,” said Matthew Houck of the Kaua‘i Pride Parade Committee. “This supports entire families.”
The proclamation, delivered by Ashton Varner on behalf of Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami, states that despite progress here on Kaua‘i and throughout our state, discrimination still exists in the world, and in some places, it’s rampant.
“That is why it is so important now, as it was in 1969, to come together in unity, treat each other fairly and with respect, love one another without judgment, and continue to stand up for equal rights for all people of all ethnicities, sexual orientations and gender identities,” the proclamation states.
Kaua‘i County Council Members including Vice Chair KipuKai Kuali‘i, Felicia Cowden and Dr. Addison Bulosan, delivered a similar certificate from the council on Thursday, June 1, 2023, in a ceremony in the Lihu‘e Civic Center Mo‘ikeha Building rotunda.
“The most important thing we do in supporting Pride is create safe spaces and places for people to see and celebrate themselves and each other for who they are and who they love,” Kuali‘i said.
“Pride is about way more than tolerance and acceptance; it’s about treating people with the dignity they deserve and recognizing their differences and diversity as beautiful, deserving of love, strong, and worthy of recognition and celebration,” he said.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 808-245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: The Garden Island