HILO, Hawaii – The annual lei draping ceremony was held at the statue of King Kamehameha in Wailoa State Park on Friday.
This year was an extra special event. Not only was it the 20th annual Ka ‘Ahulei O Kamehameha, but it was also the first King Kamehameha Day ceremony to be held at the statue since it was vandalized last year during Labor Day Weekend.
The statue’s bronze ‘ihe, or spear tip, was broken off and later recovered in the bushes nearby. Police arrested William Roy Carroll III. In March, Carroll was found guilty of second- and third-degree theft and second-degree criminal property damage.
During the Friday evening ceremony, Kamehameha Schools Alumni Association Secretary Robert Yamada spoke about the incident, and took the time to thank Wes and Aulani Hammond. Wes volunteered his expertise to repair the spear.
The event featured the traditional ho’okupu ceremony; The Royal Order of Kamehameha I, ʻAhahui O Kaʻahumanu Helu ʻEkolu, Hale O Na Aliʻi O Hawaiʻi, the office of the Hawaii County Mayor, and various Kamehameha alumni groups particiapted.
Halau Ha’a Kea O Kinohi and Kumu Paul Neves also presented a lei, and performed hula.
The Hawaii County Band provided the music. The keynote speaker for the event was Lehua Vincent, the KS-Hawaii High School Principal.
There are Kamehameha Day events planned for Saturday in North Kohala, Hilo, and Kailua-Kona.