PHOTOS: May Day Celebrated at Kalākaua Park
May Day is Lei Day in Hawaiʻi and the Hilo Lei Day Festival returned to Kalākaua Park this year on Wednesday, May 1, 2019.
The celebration is always on May 1 and is free and open to the public.
Opening ceremonies began at 10 a.m. and the festival ends at 3 p.m. with a group hula, May Day is Lei Day in Hawaiʻi and the singing of Hawaiʻi Aloha.
Activities being held included a lei competition, floral court, group hula, portrayals of people and other beings of Hawaiian history and legend as well as vendor booths.
Begun as a hō‘ike for Hālau LeiManu, this community festival celebrates the variety and beauty of the lei—the iconic garland of Hawai‘i.
Kalakaua Park, originally created as the town square of Hilo, saw its first Lei Day Festival on May 1, 1928. The festival is also the kickoff for May, the Month of the Lei in Hawai‘i County.
Attendees are encouraged to make, wear and share lei throughout the month.
The festival and the month also provide opportunities for people to learn about cultivating lei plants, and how to mālama, or protect, Hawai‘i Island’s natural resources for generations.
Major financial sponsors for this year’s festival are the Edmund C. Olson Trust II and KapohoKine Adventures.