(BIVN) – King Kamehameha Day celebrations statewide were cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however – as evidenced by the scene at Wailoa State Park in Hilo – some residents still took time to remember the leader who unified the islands in 1810.
On Thursday, there were signs that residents had offered hoʻokupu in honor of the legendary king. Gifts of foliage, flowers and fruit surrounded the base of the statue, and a long lei had been draped over the statue’s outstretched arm.
Hawaiʻi island usually holds a lei draping at the King Kamehameha statue in Hilo, a parade in Kona, and an all-day event in Kapaʻau. North Kohala is known as the birthplace of King Kamehameha.
“The decision to cancel these major, statewide events was made with the health and safety of our island communities and kūpuna in mind,” said Kainoa Daines, Chair of the King Kamehameha Celebration Commission, in an April news release. “While we are hopeful that the worst of the COVID-19 health crisis will be behind us by June, we feel the prudent response at this time is to cancel our events so that all involved in our respective King Kamehameha Celebration festivities across the state can focus on matters important to health, welfare and economy. We look forward to commemorating and celebrating Kamehameha Pai‘ea in 2021.”
King Kamehameha I Day is a public holiday in Hawaiʻi.