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King Kamehameha Day Celebration Parade

It’s a statewide tradition that’s right at home on Kauai.

The annual King Kamehameha Day Celebration Parade will usher down Rice Street at 9 a.m. Saturday in honor of the great leader who established the Hawaiian Kingdom.

“This is the 98th year that the parade has been happening statewide,” said Melissa Sugai, interim commissioner for the Kamehameha Day Celebration.

The local parade took a hiatus a few years ago, but was resurrected after county grants helped fund the tradition. Sugai didn’t know how many years Kauai has been doing it, but it was a huge tradition in the past with the goal of returning to that standing.

“All participants will be on horseback,” Sugai said, adding the theme will showcase the Hawaiian monarchy tradition of pa’u riders that began in the 1800s. The parade will include a fully clad grand marshal and king’s court, as well as riders representing the eight main Hawaiian islands through color and dress.

The procession will start at Vidinha Stadium near the airport and proceed up Rice Street, lasting about an hour. Guests are invited to Hoolaule’a, an after-parade event on the Historical County Building lawn, for live entertainment, craft vendors and food booths until 3 p.m.

Hoolaule’a is free. Sugai encouraged people to celebrate the rich culture and heritage of Hawaii.

Last year, around 75 entries floated down Rice Street. Organizers said this year’s number is slightly down, but they expect the floral displays and costumes to be just as beautiful.

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