THE festival that stops a city lived up to that name as Suva came to a standstill yesterday to accommodate the Hibiscus Festival Opening Parade.
Led by the Police Jazz Band and the reigning Miss Hibiscus, Alisi Rabukawaqa, the parade temporarily took precedence over everything else in Suva as it made its way from Sukuna Park to Albert Park.
All manner of people took to the sidewalks in bids to catch a glimpse of the contestants in this year's festival. They were not disappointed.
Decked out in the traditional Bula wear synonymous with the Hibiscus Festival, the Queens, Kings Teens, Ladies and Princess contestants took to the Suva streets to greet and even take photos with members of the public.
Miss Rabukawaqa said the next eight days of the Vodafone Hibiscus Festival would be a chance for all people to come down and enjoy the festivities at the ground.
"The opening parade was lovely, people came with their banners to march with the crowd and it was nice to meet up with scouts and girl guides who joined us for the march," Ms Rabukawaqa said.
On a more serious note Ms Rabukawaqa said the Vodafone Fiji Hibiscus 2012 would be a chance for all to hear messages on Non Communicable Diseases currently gripping the country.
"I urge all to come down and enjoy themselves but they also need to be aware of the Hibiscus Festival theme of overcoming NCDs in the country."