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Kaua‘i passes holiday without celebration

King Kamehameha Day is a day of celebration throughout Hawai’i, but not on Kaua‘i. At least not this year.

In an April letter to The Garden Island, W. Kahanu Smith, Kaua‘i Commissioner of the King Kamehameha Celebration, announced that the Floral Parade and Ho‘olaule‘a would be canceled “due to the lack of participation.”

The only United States public holiday to honor a monarch, King Kamehameha Day has occured every June 11 since it was declared a holiday in 1871 by a Kamehameha descendent.

It celebrates the accomplishments of Kamehameha the Great, who established the Kingdom of Hawai‘i by uniting the islands in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Despite two attempts at conquering Kaua‘i, in 1796 and 1803, he was unable to wrest control from King Kaumuali‘i, who is considered to be more revered on the island.

Eventually, Kaua‘i’s ali‘i nui acquiesced and allowed Kamehameha to annex both Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau, completing the kingdom in 1810.

Celebrations on other Hawaiian islands include statue decorations on Kamehameha’s native island of Hawai‘i (the Big Island) and O‘ahu.

Maui will host a craft fair and a floral parade on Saturday, according to the official government Web site for the King Kamehameha Celebration Commission.

Here on Kaua‘i, county offices will be closed today, along with all refuse transfer stations, the Kekaha Landfill and bottle redemption center, and the Kaua‘i Resource Center.

The Kapahi, Lawa‘i and Lihu‘e bottle redemption centers as well as the Puhi Metals Recycling Center will remain open.

Residential refuse pick-up will continue as scheduled, and The Kaua‘i Bus will be operating on a modified schedule.

Normal business hours for county offices and services will resume tomorrow.

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