Celebrating a king

LIHUE — King Kamehameha V decreed Kamehameha Day as a national holiday for the Kingdom of Hawaii to honor the memory of Kamehameha, the king’s great grandfather, who in 1810, united the Hawaiian Islands and became the first king.

Once a celebration which included carnivals, fairs, and races, the observance continued following the overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani and the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1893, but without the fanfare.

Prince Jonah Kuhio, born on Kauai, restored the Royal Order of Kamehameha, Chapter 1 when Hawaii became a United States territory in 1898, and it was the Royal Order, current stewards of the Prince Kuhio Park in Poipu where the prince was born, who re-established the celebration of Kamehameha Day on June 11, 1904.

In 1912, the Royal Order chapters started to collaborate with island communities and local governments to present the Kamehameha Day celebrations which include the floral parade, pau riders, and hoolaulea in the park.

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