Schedule of Kamehameha Day festivities

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Photography by Baron Sekiya | Hawaii 24/7

Kamehameha Day is a public holiday of the state of Hawaii and is celebrated June 11.

It honors Kamehameha the Great, the monarch who first established the unified Kingdom of Hawaii — comprising the islands of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe, Maui and Hawaii.

While he was king, Hawaii was a center of the fur and sandalwood trade. Pineapples were brought to Hawaii from Spain in 1813 and coffee was first planted in 1818, a year before he died.

In 1883, a statue of King Kamehameha I was dedicated in Honolulu by King David Kalakaua (this was duplicate, because the original statue was lost at sea). There is another duplicate of this statue in Emancipation Hall at the Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, D.C.

Here is the schedule of Kamehameha Day events on the Big Island:

* 5 p.m. Friday, June 10 – Hilo: Statue Lei-Draping Ceremony

The Royal Societies and members of the community will present their hookupu (gifts) to honor Kamehameha the Great. The County Band and the Kamehameha Chorus will share music.

* 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, June 11 – Hilo: Kamehameha Festival, Moku Ola “Coconut Island”

9 a.m. – Opening Ceremony
9 a.m. – Hookuku Pu (Seashell Blowing Contest, all ages, all welcome, no entry fee)
9:30 a.m.– Hoike Oli (Chant) Exhibition
10 a.m. – Halau Ke Ola Pono No Na Kupuna, Kumu Hula Carleen Medeiros
11 a.m. – Stan Kaina and the ladies of Leo Nahenahe o Pohai Kealoha
Noon – Royal Order of Kamehameha High Noon Ceremony
Presentation of Hookupu; Presentation of Mamalahoa Award
12:30 p.m. – Komakakino
1:30 p.m. – Mokuleo with Ricky Alaniz
2:30 p.m. – Mark Yamanaka (2011 Four-time Na Hoku Hanohano Award winner)
3:30 p.m.– Halau Haa Kea o Kinohi, Kumu Hula Paul Neves
5 p.m. – Closing Ceremony

* 8 a.m. Saturday, June 11 – Kohala: King Kamehameha Floral Parade and Statue Lei-Draping Ceremony

8 a.m. – Statue Ceremonies. The original statue of Kamehameha I stands above Akoni Pule Highway on the lawn of the Civic Center in Kapaau. It will be draped with lei, and the flowers remain in place as long as they are fresh.

9 a.m. – Floral Parade starts at Kohala High School (mile marker 22) at 9 a.m. and proceeds down Akoni Pule Highway to Kapaau, first past the statue of Kamehameha I and then into Kamehameha Park, site of the Hoolaulea. During the parade Akoni Pule Highway will be closed between Kohala High School and Hospital Road in Kapaau, reopening about 10 a.m.

10 a.m.-4 p.m. – Hoolaulea

* 9-11 a.m. Saturday, June 11 – Kailua Kona: King Kamehameha Day Community Parade

To take place on Alii Drive, the annual King Kamehameha Day Celebration Parade will feature more than 100 riders on horseback, as well as floats, a horse-drawn carriage, marching bands, hula halau and regal pa‘u riders on horseback. All eight Hawaiian Islands will be represented by pa‘u equestrian units, which will showcase the colors and flora of each island. Additional mounted units will include the parade queen, grand marshal, Daughters of Hawaii and the Kona coffee queen.

This year’s theme is: “Wahine Holo Lio, Honoring the Noble Tradition of Pa’u Riding.” (“Wahine Holo Lio means: “Woman traveling by horseback”)

A free hoolaulea will be held after the parade at Swing Zone near the Old Airport beginning at 10:30 a.m. Cultural workshops, vendors, food, exhibits, hula and live performances will be featured.

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