As you may know, last week I sent out emails announcing the cancellation of the 11th Annual Hilo Chinese New Year Festival. Since that time several things have happened and I’m happy to say that the Hilo Downtown Improvement Association will present the festival on Saturday Feb. 9 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Mooheau Park.
In addition to the fact that it brings thousands of people to Downtown Hilo, why did we decide to do the festival?
1. The park is available, the County Dept. of Parks & Recreation is working with us to make this last minute event possible
2. We have event insurance already paid for in the DIA’s general liability policy
3. Performing groups have been practicing for months and are ready, in particular Kobudo Taiko looks forward to this every year and are bringing their rarely seen Shi Shi Mai lion
4. Ke Ola Magazine gifted a beautiful ad in their most recent issue and we are listed in their calendar in print and on-line
5. Nelson Makua designed a spectacular Year of the Snake tee shirt and he has donated the use of his graphics and will be selling at the event
6. Petroglyph Press/Basically Books are in-kind sponsors and can help with printing needs
7. Two cruise ships are in port and our Hilo Hula Days will take place at the festival, hundreds of small fliers will be distributed at the pier by the great volunteers of Destination Hilo
8. 20 – 50 artists, crafters, food vendors will suffer economic hardship because this festival has become an important part of their sustenance plus many have already created Year of the Snake art, purchased thematic products to sell, purchased a tent, and/or have invested their time and money preparing for the event
9. The County Band performs at the bandstand from 12 – 1, making out line up easier to fill
10. Lunar New Year/Chinese New Year is a time to honor our ancestors and be with family – we need to do that as a community and with the passing away of my inspirational friend and mentor Robert “Steamy” Chow last November, I feel its my duty to hold this year’s festival
We are so grateful for the many sponsors and contributors who have helped to keep the event going for ten years, MAHALO. The burden of developing, creating, seeking funding, and implementing one of Hawaii Island’s (and visitor’s) favorite events has become too much for the Hilo Downtown Improvement to bear on its own and while we have stepped up to the task this year, won’t you please help us to sustain it for the future? Please let me know if you have any ideas or are in a position to contribute time, talent or funding for these efforts. And please help us spread the word about this year’s event and our plight, come to the festival and invite everyone you know, all your friends and family.
Aloha, mahalo & Kung Hee Fat Choy!