King Kamehameha Day Celebration
Every island is in King Kamehameha Day celebration mode this week to honor Kamehameha the Great, who was the monarch that first established unified kingdom of Hawaii. June 11 is a public holiday in Hawaii established by Kamehameha V as a day to honor his grandfather.
On Oahu, the King Kamehameha Day celebration begins on June 11 at 9am with Mamakakaua, Daughters and Sons of Hawaiian Warriors – 101st annual vigil at King Kamehameha Statue. At 3:00pm the exciting annual event continues as the statue of Kamehameha 1 is draped with lei sewn by the ladies of ‘Ahahui Ka’ahumanu. The statue is located in downtown Honolulu across the street from Iolani Palace. The most significant ritual dates back to 1901 after the Territory of Hawaiʻi was founded. A similar draping ceremony is held at the United States Capitol where the Kamehameha Statue there is also adorned in lei in the company of federal officials.
On Saturday at 9:00 a.m. the 98th annual King Kamehameha Day Floral Parade and Ho`olaule`a will be held. The parade begins at the Iolani Palace and ends at Kapiolani Park in Waikiki where the Ho’olaule”a is usually held but this year the event will be celebrated at Kakaako Makai Gateway Park from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. The Hawaiian word Hoʻolauleʻa, literally means a celebration, or block party with food and music.
A favorite King Kamehameha Day floral parade spectacle is the traditional majestic paʻu riders. They characterize a royal court led by a queen on horseback, followed by princesses representing the eight major islands of Hawaiʻi and Molokini. Paʻu ladies in waiting attend each princess. Paʻu women are dressed in colorful and elegant 19th century riding gowns highlighted with lei and other floral appointments.
The 98th Annual King Kamehameha Floral Parade will be televised live at 9am on Saturday on selected cable channels.
If you miss the parade or statue draping ceremony, you can always see the Iolani Palace or King Kamehameha statue on any of our Oahu sightseeing tours or Pearl Harbor tours which include downtown Honolulu.