Big Island Celebrates King Kamehameha Day

June 12, 2017, 9:07 AM HST (Updated June 12, 2017, 9:14 AM)

Lei were placed on King Kamehameha’s statue in Hilo on Friday, June 9, 2017. Crystal Richard photo.

King Kamehameha Day celebrations began on Hawai‘i Island with lei ceremonies on Friday, June 9, 2017.

Kamehameha the Great was the monarch of Hawai‘i between 1782 and 1819.

Celebrations continued through the weekend in North Kohala, the birthplace of the chief who united the islands, in Hilo and Kailua-Kona.

At Mokuola in Hilo (Coconut Island) on Kamehameha Day, Sunday, June 11, the 2017 Kamehameha Festival theme was E ‘Onipa‘a Kākou—“To be steadfast, established, firm, resolute and determined.”

This was Queen Lili‘uokalani’s motto, according to the presenters, the Royal Order of Kamehameha I, Māmalahoa. The theme “was chosen in honor of Queen Lili‘uokalani’s and in remembrance of the 124 anniversary of the illegal Overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i,” The presenters said.

The festival featured Hawaiian music by top musicians and the sharing of traditional dance by select hula hālau throughout Hawai’i. The event also included art and craft vendors, and food.

North Kohala held its annual parade and ho‘olaule‘a at Kamehameha Park in Kapa‘au on Sunday, June 11.


The original statue of Kamehameha was draped in 25-foot-long floral lei, followed by hula, history and music; pa’u riders made their way from Hawi to the statue and Kamehameha Park.

The official King Kamehameha Day state holiday is observed this year on Monday, June 12, 2017.

King Kamehameha Day Celebration Parade 2017



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