52nd Kaneohe March Dec. 6 — From Aunty Alice To Santa Claus

Question: What always happens on the first Saturday of December in Kaneohe town?

Answer: You’re right, the Kaneohe Christmas Parade. The 52nd annual homegrown parade will begin at 9 a.m. Dec. 6 with the theme “Celebrating Christmas in Kaneohe’s Country,” complete with bands, floats, schoolchildren, scout troops, military units, candy and politicians.

Grand marshal is Aunty Alice Hewett, a champion of children’s sports and all things Hawaiian in the community. The march itself will be dedicated to the late Hotch “Tutu Man” Kekoa and kumu hula Aunty Aloha Dalire.

The parade starts by Windward Mall and ends at Castle High School, lasting about two hours, and motorists — those unlucky ones who cannot stay to watch — should avoid Kamehameha Highway during that time, as it will be closed. About 1,800 participants are expected, including 40 vehicles, 18 floats and five bands.

Those on the sidelines are invited to bring new toys to donate to Toys for Tots. The Marines will join the dancers with Ka’ohu Cazinha’s Halau Ke Ao o ‘Anolani to collect toys for their annual drive. Look for the double-decker bus from Polynesian

Adventures, and have your toys ready.

“We had so much fun with them (the Marines) last year,” Cazinha said, “that we have again invited them to join our halau, and they accepted!”

The dancers also are bringing gifts for the toy drive.

New this year is a Christmas Block Party, which will take over Mehana Street and Kawa Street (behind Zippy’s) from 1 to 9 p.m. Parade winners will be announced there at 3:30.

Chairing the parade are Kuulei Richardson Olsen and Lia Higashi. For more information, call 450-5140 or email thekaneohechristmasparade@gmail.com.