Float parade

Tonga's float parade lifts spirits amid pandemic gloom

The Tourism Industry and Cultural Festival comes after more than a year since mass gatherings, including the annual Heilala Festival, was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fifteen floats took part and competed in the parade that started from the CBD to the Taufa'ahau Domestic Wharf.

Frederica Tuita Filipe awarded the prizes to the best floats in two competing categories - a cultural category and a business category.

There were cash prizes for first, second and third place and all participants received consolation cash prizes.

Digicel Heilala Festival Float Parade wins prize

The event was hosted by the Ministry of Tourism.

Digicel’s colourful convoy of branded vehicles with staff and their children dressed in bright red was tied in second place with the Ministry of Revenue & Customs to win $1,500 cash.

Digicel’s float trailer displayed its latest prize offered to its loyal customers, a Mazda BT50 4WD, to be won during its current 3-month campaign titled ‘Everything is Better Together With Digicel’.

New Miss Heilala to be crowned

Twenty-five young women are vying for the title.

On Thursday, the contestants participated in the float parade through central Nuku’alofa.

Staff from four government ministries, the Reigning Miss Heilala Kalo Funganitao, and the Miss Pacific Islands Leashina Kariha joined the parade.

Hundreds of people lined the streets to cheer the contestants.   

The Miss Heilala programme started on Monday, July 1 with the Formal Interview at Fa’onelua Convention Centre followed by the Miss Heilala Tau’olunga Competition on Tuesday, July 2.