Heilala Festival

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’.

Contestants prepare for Heilala Festival pageant

The contestants who are aged between 19 years and 23 years old are from Tonga, New Zealand and the United States.

The first public judging is scheduled for July 3.

The pageant is part of the Heilala Festival which is one of Tonga’s most popular annual events.

The winner of the pageant represents the country at the Miss Pacific Islands pageant at the end of the year.


Photo by Tonganow Online 


9 contestants to vie for Miss Heilala title

The contestants, who are aged between 19 to 23 years old come from Tonga, United States and New Zealand.

The Miss Heilala pageant is the highlight of the two-week Heilala Festival which begins on Monday, June 26.

A variety of events are scheduled with a ‘Chef of the Year’ competition opening the festivities.

Other events include Tradition and Tongan Night, Tonga’s Got Talent Quest, Cultural Dance Competition for schools, Cultural Singing Competition, Gospel services, Heilala Block Party and an International Food Festival.