The Waikiki Holiday Parade happens the Friday after Thanksgiving, and is unlike any other holiday parade in the country. Kalakaua Avenue is lit by torches, and grass-skirted hula dancers join military units, dignitaries, and marching bands in the procession. This year's parade will feature more than 30 bands, and is in honor of the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.
Visiting bands frequently come to the parade accompanied by a Pearl Harbor survivor who now lives in their area. The survivors often participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the USS Arizona Memorial. The parade organization makes a donation to the USS Arizona Memorial for each participating band. The bands often participate in a performance at the USS Missouri Battleship as well as marching in the parade.
Making a visit to Pearl Harbor is highly recommended during your stay in Waikiki, whether you're able to attend the parade or come to Hawaii at another time of year. The USS Arizona Memorial is the watery resting place of more than 1100 sailors and marines killed during the attack. Free visits include a boat ride to the memorial and a film presenting the history. The USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, Battleship Missouri Memorial and Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor are also accessible from the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center.
Visiting the memorial is undeniably sad, but is also a highlight of a visit to Waikiki for anyone with an interest in World War II history. But stay at the Holiday Inn Waikiki Beachcomber, and your mood won't stay solemn for long. Our Waikiki Beach hotel captures the friendly, welcome spirit of the Hawaiian islands. Just steps from the beach and including rides on the Waikiki Connection Trolley, our hotel puts aloha within easy reach.