In a few weeks, a sea of green will stream through the sleepy town of Hilo, as they host their first St. Patrick’s Day parade. The parade will showcase an appreciation of heritage and passion for the community that does not only rest in those who have Irish blood. Everyone is welcomed to the parade and post-parade festivities – no matter where you are from.

The St. Patrick’s Day parade came about thanks to a resident who moved to the Big Island in 2009, according to an article by the “Tribune-Herald.” Sean O’Phelan’s father and sister started St. Patty’s Day parades in cities abroad, so he hoped to carry on the family tradition on the Big Island. This year, he will be seeing his dream come true; so far, he and others from the community – including the Friends of St. Patrick’s on Oahu – have raised about $1,000 but still need $800.

This is where visiting and local consumers on the Big Island will benefit. The committee will be selling parade buttons that may be used to get discounts from participating businesses ($5). These buttons go on sale March 1 to 15, 2014 at the following stores that have also sponsored the upcoming parade: Island Naturals, Big Island Kombucha, Oasis Skate Shop, Basically Books, ACR Dollar, Hilo Tobacco, Charlie’s Big Island Candies, Snow Factory Hilo and Bayfront Kava Bar.

In order to qualify for the discounts, buttons should be worn during time of purchase.Portions of the proceeds go toward the Special Olympics in Hilo, with the remainder of the monies paying for the parade. Discounts at participating stores are as follows:

  1. Big Island Booch
    Save on Booch daily
  2. Oasis Skateshop
    Everything Green is discounted
  3. Bayfront Kava Bar and the Antique Shop
    Kava and Antiques discounted
  4. Nash Irish Dance
    One free lesson call Sarah Nash 808-333-6713
  5. La Hiki Kava Bar in Pahoa
    Specials available
  6. Aloha Grown
    Specials available
  7. Hilo Town Tavern
    Specials available
  8. Ben Franklin
    Craft Specials and Sale the day of the parade
  9. Snow Factory
    Specials available
  10. Lucy’s Taquiera
    Specials available
  11. Coquis Hideaway
    Get in on Saturday night for Band and DJ and drink specials 21+ for FREE ( no $5 cover)
  12. Hilo Tabacco
    $2 off a pound

Although St. Patty’s Day is celebrated on March 17, the parade will be a few days before – on March 15 – at 4 p.m. It will start at the Ben Franklin Crafts store and go through Keawe Street to Wainuenue Avenue. The parade ends at the public park, where there will be more St. Patrick’s Day activities for everyone to enjoy. St. Patty’s is one of Hawaii’s favorite holidays but mostly celebrated on Oahu, where there are several Irish pubs in downtown Honolulu. Now, the Big Island will join in on the fun with this wonderful event.

For more information, contact Sean O’Phelan at or 854-3443.


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