8th TSC represents armed forces in Aloha Festivals Floral Parade

| October 1, 2010 | 0 Comments

Story and Photos by
Vanessa Lynch
News Editor

Soldiers from the 8th TSC march in the 65th Annual Aloha Festivals Floral Parade, Saturday. The parade is part of Honolulu’s Aloha Festivals, the oldest and largest Hawaiian cultural celebration in the U.S. HONOLULU — A colorful equestrian procession of male “paniolo,” Hawaiian cowboys, and female “pa’u,” skirt or sarong, horseback riders; extravagant floats with cascades of Hawaiian flowers; and marching bands brightened Kalakaua Avenue from Ala Moana Park to Kapiolani Park, here, Saturday.

Among the many participants in the 65th Annual Aloha Festivals Floral Parade, 24 Soldiers from the 8th Theater Sustainment Command marched through the streets of Waikiki. Spectators and parade enthusiasts lined sidewalks and applauded in appreciation for their service. 

“We just want to say ‘you’re welcome’ to everyone who thanked us for our service as we marched passed them,” said Staff Sgt. Ysidro Arredondo, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 45th Special Troops Battalion, 45th Sust. Brigade, 8th TSC. “We couldn’t break formation to thank everyone, but we appreciate all the ‘thank yous’ we received during the parade.”

As 8th TSC Soldiers marched passed the bandstand in perfect synchronization, the emcee announced, “As the senior Army logistics command in the Pacific, the 8th TSC controls logistics, military police and engineers; trains and equips forces for deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan and anywhere else in the world; as well as, (provides) logistical support to forces in the Pacific to maintain peace, stability and deter aggression.

“8th TSC Soldiers also contribute much to their communities here on Oahu, spending countless hours assisting in local schools and on other events around the island,” the announcer continued.

The parade is part of Honolulu’s 64-year-old Aloha Festivals, which is the oldest and largest Hawaiian cultural celebration in the U.S. The Aloha Festivals were originally created in 1946 as Aloha Week, a cultural celebration of Hawaii’s music, dance and history, intended to promote its unique traditions. 

According to the festival’s website, a group of former Jaycees, known as the Jaycees Old-timers of Hawaii, created the public celebration to honor Hawaii’s cosmopolitan heritage. This celebration has become a statewide tradition.

Aloha Week was renamed Aloha Festivals in 1991. The event “… foster(s) the Aloha Spirit through the perpetuation of the Hawaiian culture and the celebration of the diverse customs and traditions of Hawaii.” 

Thousands of volunteers labor together each year to stage the events, attended by nearly a million people. The theme of this year’s parade was “Mele Ailana,” or Celebrate Island Music.

“Even with the temperature out here, everyone held their heads up high,” said Staff Sgt. Robert Boone, HHC, 84th Engineer Bn., 130th Eng. Bde., 8th TSC. “I’m very proud of the professionalism (the Soldiers) demonstrated out here, today.”

Category: Community, Community Relations

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