Kamehameha Day festivities in Hawaii

Local Hawaiians have plenty to be grateful for. We’ve got sun, surf, fun, and a cultural history so steeped in legend that sometimes we have to pinch ourselves as a reminder that we live in paradise. Yesterday marked the 62nd annual state holiday that celebrated Hawaii’s first king, Kamehameha I, who was responsible for uniting the islands. Kamehameha the Great, whose name means “The Lonely One,” left an indelible mark on the islands. His legacy is celebrated on King Kamehameha Day on June 11th of every year.

Here on Oahu there will be a variety of events held in downtown and Waikiki today and Saturday. Events include a Kamehameha Day parade, arts and crafts displays and a lei draping ceremony.

Friday, June 12, 2009

3:30 P.M. -Music by the Royal Hawaiian Band Ali`iolani Hale: Honolulu Civic Center
Prelude to the statue decoration ceremonies.

4:00 P.M. – Statue Decoration Ceremonies Ali`iolani Hale: Honolulu Civic Center
The statue of King Kamehameha I, in the City Civic Center is decorated with 13-foot floral tributes, which are created on site throughout the day by volunteers. Music and Hula performances add to the colorful display; a photographer’s delight.

Saturday, June 13, 2009
9:30 A.M. – 93rd Annual King Kamehameha Celebration Floral Parade
Colorful floral floats, glamorous Pa`u riders, outstanding marching bands traverse the streets of Honolulu beginning at King and Richards Streets, Punchbowl Street, onto Ala Moana Boulevard, merging into Kalakaua Avenue, ending at the Queen Kapiolani Park. Parade awards presentation will follow.

For more information, visit http://hawaii.gov/dags/king_kamehameha_commission/.

Over on the Big Island there will be a King Kamehameha Day Parade in Kailua-Kona tomorrow, June 13, from 9 a.m. to noon. The floral-themed parade honoring Hawaii’s monarch features Hawaiian-themed entries, including pā’ū riders representing all the Hawaiian islands, bands, hula and community groups. There will also be food booths, crafts and much more.