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Lei Draping in Kohala, Hawaiʻi
June 11, 2018 @ 8:00 am
Don’t miss the annual lei draping ceremony of the statue of King Kamehameha the Great in North Kohala on the Big Island of Hawai‘i. The ceremony will begin on June 11, 2017 at 8:00 a.m. off Akoni Pule Highway in Kapa‘au. Expect to see cultural protocols along with beautiful hand-made lei being draped on the statue of King Kamehameha.
During the reign of King Kalākaua, seventh monarch and last king of the Hawaiian Kingdom, a statue honoring Kamehameha the Great was commissioned in Florence, Italy to commemorate the founder of the Kingdom. On its way from Europe, the ship carrying the bronze statue meant for Honolulu, the kingdom’s capitol, sank off the Falkland Islands. Fortunately, insurance covered the cost of striking a second statue. In the meantime, the first statue was recovered, and Honolulu soon had two statues. To honor the birthplace of Kamehameha, King Kalākaua gifted the original statue to the people of Kohala. Unlike its gold-leafed twin on O‘ahu, the Kohala statue is painted in a manner meant to represent Kamehameha’s likeness more realistically.
Traditional floral parade 9:00-10:30 AM: Watch a traditional pa‘u parade with horses and riders adorned in flowers and colors to represent each Hawaiian Island. At 9:00 AM the road closes while honorees, hula dancers, Pa‘u riders and floral floats make their way from Hawi to the statue and Kamehameha Park in Kapa‘au.
Music, Crafts, Food in the park 10:00 AM-4:00 PM: Enjoy Ho‘olaule‘a activities at Kamehameha Park in Kapa‘au, where you can eat local food, see masters create traditional arts and craafts, watch beautiful hula dancers and listen to award-winning Hawaiian musicians.
A trip to this historic area on King Kamehameha Day is sure to be a highlight of a trip to the Islands. While in North Kohala, visitors can take in the natural beauty of ocean cliffs and ranchland, visit breathtaking Pololu Valley, and browse the area’s many shops, restaurants, and galleries. Bring a camera.
Photo courtesy of Cynthia Hoskins via Flickr.com.
For a full line-up of events and live streaming information, please visit www.hawaii.com/kamehamehaday!
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