By Vanessa Wolf
Happy June 11, also known as King Kamehameha Day.
The original King Kamehameha Day was held on June 11, 1872, making this the 141st celebration.
It was proclaimed by King Kamehameha V, to honor his great grandfather, King Kamehameha I – also known as Kamehameha the Great – who had united the Hawaiian Islands into a viable and recognized political entity.
King Kamehameha Day was one of the first holidays to be proclaimed when Hawaii became a state in 1959, and today marks the 97th commemoration in the state of Hawaii.
On Saturday, the annual Na Kamehameha Commemorative Pa’u Parade and Ho’olaulea will be held in Lahaina. The events are traditionally held the Saturday following the state holiday.
The Ho’olaule’a Planning Committee invites you to commemorate and celebrate our ali‘i through the theme: “Nā Pouhana,” which will be honoring Senators Inouye & Akaka.
The ho’olaulea, or celebration, will start at 9 a.m. at Kamehameha Iki Park on Front Street.
The pa’u parade will start at 9:45 a.m. at Front and Kenui streets and proceed along Front Street to Shaw Street.
The colorful floral parade through Lahaina features Pa’u riders on horses decorated with flowers representing each of Hawaii’s largest islands.
The parade will also feature marching bands and floats, all honoring Hawaii’s King Kamehameha I.
This year, there will be six commentator stations along the parade route including Longhi’s, Kimo’s, Cheeseburger in Paradise, Lahaina Pizza Co., The Wharf, and 505 Front Street.
The ho‘olaule‘a will continue after the parade.
It will include pā‘ū awards presentation awarding the outstanding pa’u princess, pa’u unit, pooper scooper and the Hanai Hayashida Memorial Perpetual Trophy. There will also be parade awards for the best decorated vehicle, floats, and walking/marching unit.
Parade participants will include pa’u riders, students from Kamehameha Schools Maui and Sacred Hearts School in Lahaina, the Lahaina Restoration Foundation and members of the Royal Order of Kamehameha I.
The ho’olaule’a will also include food booths and crafts from local artisans.
There will also be live local entertainment including musicians, halau hula, and Polynesian dancing.
Hui O Wa‘a Kaulua will offer an exhibit on voyaging in the Pacific and Mo‘olele, and the Friends of Moku‘ula will be providing a walking tour of Moku‘ula.
In addition, the Waiola Church will be giving a tour of the grounds and the resting place of Hawaiian ali‘i.
At the Pa’u exhibit, attendees can meet and greet the pa‘u princesses and riders and view a pa‘u documentary.
The festivities are free to the public and scheduled to last until sunset.
Front Street will be closed to traffic at Kenui Street from 8:30 a.m., and cross streets, including Baker Street, Papalaua Street, Lahainaluna Road, Dickenson Street and Prison Street, will be closed at 9 a.m.
Have an idea for a fun or thought-provoking story or topic? Get in touch: we want to hear from you. -Vanessa (@mauinow.com)