LIHUE — Hundreds of people braved the threatening skies to line Rice Street and enjoy the King Kamehameha Day floral parade in Lihue.
William King Ka‘auwai II portrayed King Kamehameha and reigned over the court which included Tom Lyndsey as Manokalanipo and Russ Michael Mahuiki-Cummings as Ali‘i Nui Kaumuali‘i, other significant kings in Kauai’s history.
Dora Keapokuaokalani Kahaunaele Swain, surrounded by her ohana which includes eight children, (five of whom live on Kauai), 29 grandchildren, 58 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren, was honored as the parade’s Grand Marshall.
Wade Tsuneo Nakamoto, who has been involved with parades for the past 20 years, reigned as the Pa‘u Marshall. In accordance with this year’s ohana theme, Betty Jean Perreira-Nakamoto reigned as the 2016 Pa‘u Queen, the entourage being accompanied by Halau Ka Lei Mokihana O Leina‘ala.
The halau shared two oli: Hanau ke ali‘i Keku‘iapoiwa, honoring the mother of Kamehameha I and He ali‘i O Kaumuali‘i, which honored King Kaumuali‘i, the ruler of Kauai’s kingdom.
Festivities overflowed onto the lawn of the historic County Building with entertainment, food trucks, food booths and a variety of crafters.
Kamehameha Day, a county and state holiday, was established by royal decree in 1871 by King Kamehameha V as a national holiday, created to honor the memory of Kamehameha, the king’s great-grandfather, who united the Hawaiian Islands in 1810 and ruled as Hawaii’s first king.