King Kamehameha Day festivities scheduled this weekend across the Big Island
In honor of Hawai‘i’s king who united the islands, communities across the Big Island are gearing up for the annual King Kamehameha Day festivities.
King Kamehameha Day is a state holiday that celebrates Hawai‘i’s first king. A great warrior, diplomat and leader, King Kamehameha I united the Hawaiian Islands into one royal kingdom in 1810 after years of conflict.
On June 10, spectators can watch the iconic King Kamehameha Celebration Parade in historic Kailua Village with the pa‘ū princesses on horseback.
The parade starts at 9 a.m. at Old Kona Airport Park. The route travels down Kuakini Highway, turns down Palani Road onto Ali‘i Drive and ends at the Royal Kona Resort.
Following the parade, a ho‘olaule‘a (Hawaiian music and art festival) will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hulihe‘e Palace. The festival will feature food vendors, hula, cultural practitioners, Hawaiian crafts, Royal Court, live music and a silent auction.
Manu Powers, chairperson for the parade said everyone comes to the parade to see the pa‘ū princesses and their horses adorned in the flowers and colors of the Hawaiian Islands. The princesses represent each of the eight islands.
Also on Saturday, in Hilo, there will be lei draped over the arms of the 14-foot King Kamehameha I statue, located at 774 Kamehameha Ave. in Wailoa River State Park, at 5 p.m.
At 9 a.m. on Sunday, the Royal Order of Kamehameha ‘Ekahi Heiau ‘O Mamalahoa will hold a procession from Moku Ola to the Kamehameha Statue.
On Sunday in North Kohala — the birthplace of the king — festivities start at sunrise with morning protocol, a royal procession, hālau performances and receiving lei. The King Kamehameha 9-foot bronze statue, located in front of the North Kohala Civic Center, will be draped will lei at 8 a.m.
Following the lei draping, there will be the King Kamehameha Celebration Floral Parade at 9 a.m. The parade route goes from Kohala High and Elementary School to Kapa’au. It takes riders down Akoni Pule Highway to the statue to offer ho’okupu (a ceremonial gift as a sign of honor and respect) to King Kamehameha I, then proceeds to Kamehameha Park.
King Kamehameha Celebration Ho’olaule ‘a starts at 11 a.m.