KAPA’AU, Hawaii: Thousands gathered on the northern tip of Hawaii Island for Kamehameha Day, to honor the legendary chief who united the Hawaiian Islands in 1795.
Recognized as a state holiday throughout the Aloha State, the small town of Kapa’au goes all out for the celebration. After all, Kamehameha the Great was born in North Kohala, and its people played a prominent role in saving his life as an infant.
Local historian Boyd Bond, serving as MC during the traditional lei draping ceremony held at the landmark statue, related the legend of Kamehameha to this year’s theme of the parade: A`ohe hana nui ke alu `ia, meaning “No task is too big when done together by all.”
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In this sidebar video (right), Boyd Bond relates the tale of King Kamehameha’s birth in North Kohala, and efforts to keep him hidden from harm as an infant.
The ceremony included the Royal Order of Kamehameha, the Ahahui Ka`ahumanu, and Na Papa Kanaka O Pu`ukohola.
After the lei draping, it was time for the floral parade. Kumu Suse Soares, Jr, a descendant of Kamehameha, was the Grand Marshal of the parade, followed by the Pa’u Queen, Descendant of Kamehameha, Ambassador of Aloha, and other Pa’u riders representing all the Hawaiian Islands.
The floral floats made their way from Hawi to the statue and back to Kamehameha Park, where a Ho’olaulea was held until 4 p.m.