Prince Kuhio Day holiday today, celebration Saturday

The birth of Kaua’i born Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana’ole is marked today by a state holiday.

Workers are off today at The Garden Island’s office, banks, schools, libraries, state offices and some other public service facilities.

A full day of festivities is planned Saturday.

Each year the Royal Order of Kamehameha presents a commemorative ceremony at the Prince Kuhio Park. A commemorative momument erected in Kuhio’s memory stands within the park.

The day-long celebration includes numerous events aimed at educating visitors and local residents about aspects of the native Hawaiian culture, and the life of Prince Kuhio.

The ceremony to honor Prince Kuhio is held at his birthplace at Prince Kuhio Park in the Kukuiula section of Koloa along Lawa’i Beach Road. The program begins at 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning and the pubic is invited to observe the ceremony.

The Hyatt Regency Kaua’i is scheduling a day full of events Saturday including numerous demonstrations of native Hawaiian cultural practices beginning at 9 a.m. and ending at about 8 p.m. Hawaiian music will also be performed at the Hyatt during the day.

Kuhio was born in 1871 and went on to become a prince of the Hawaiian Kingdom and the second delegate to Congress from Hawai’i.

The Kaua’i-born prince was the youngest of three sons of Kaua’i ali’i David Kahalepouli Pi’ikoi and Princess Kinoiki Kekaulike. He represented the Territory of Hawai’i in Congress from 1903 to 1921, and is considered the father of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act. Kuhio wanted to provide homesteads in an effort to save the native Hawaiian race from extinction, and to help native Hawaiians become self-sufficient farmers and ranchers on leased lots of land reserved for native Hawaiians.

He is also noted for starting the first Hawaiian civic club, in 1917, to promote civic projects and education, and to promote the Native Hawaiian culture, within the Native Hawaiian community.

Kuhio was a popular ali’i and was known affectionately as “Prince Cupid” and as the “Citizen Prince.”

He might have become the king of the Hawaiian Kingdom if the monarchy wasn’t overthrown in January, 1893. He died at the age of 50 and his remains are interred in the royal mausoleum in Nu’uanu Valley mauka of downtown Honolulu.

For more information on the Kaua’i Kuhio Day celebration contact Stella Burgess at the Hyatt Regency Kaua’i at 742-3770.

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