50th Annual Makawao Fourth of July Paniolo Parade. Photo: Debra Lordan
By Debra Lordan
The 50th annual Makawao Fourth of July Parade seemingly “went off without a hitch,” despite the presence of a large, portable, electric flashing sign reading “No parade staging–violators will be prosecuted ” in the Maui Veterans Cemetery parking lot, the traditional staging area for the parade’s horse units for the last 50 years.
The large, open, grassy parking area has been shared by the Makawao Cemetery Association’s community cemetery and the adjacent Makawao Veterans’ Cemetery since before World War II.
SWIPE LEFT OR RIGHT
Although parade organizer Theresa Thompson had been informed last July by the state Department of Defense’s director of cemeteries that she would no longer be permitted to ready her horse unit there, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources and Makawao Cemetery Association have recently entered into mediation to resolve easement and access issues.
Today Thompson said she knew nothing of the need for a special permit until it was too late.
“My family has been involved one way or another–forever,” Thompson said.
Theresa’s father, Charley Thompson, was the parade’s first grand marshal in 1965.
“This paniolo parade is our heritage,” said Thompson. “We are not going to give up our Upcountry cultural traditions.”
Thompson said she will be available for comments about the issue later today.