The King’s Day Celebration parade unfolded Saturday with a theme of Ho‘okahi ka ‘ilau like ana — “Wield the paddles together” — under misting rains along Rice Street.
Kauai honored its ocean voyagers and the great alii of Hawaii, including King Kamehameha the Great, who is credited with uniting the Islands, and Kings Kaumuali‘i and Manokalanipo of Kauai, whose leadership allowed for peace and prosperity.
Mauna Kea Kaukaohu Trask portrayed King Kamehameha I. Thomas Lyndsey represented King Kaumuali‘i, and William King Ka‘auwai was Manokalanipo.
Among Saturday’s participants were John Kruse, a veteran Hokulea crew and one of the original creators of Namahoe.
Namahoe, Kauai’s voyaging canoe, is scheduled to leave Monday to be a part of the welcoming festivities for Hokulea returning from her 3-year around-the-world Malama Honua voyage next Saturday on Oahu.
“First call is 3 a.m.,” said Kruse. “We sail at 4 a.m.”
Kruse was joined in the parade by Dennis Chun, Marshal Mock and other Namahoe crew.
Franklin Naoiki Contrades Jr., more affectionately known as Uncle Mano, served as the grand marshall.
Kamala Mersberg served as Pa‘u Queen, riding ahead of her grandson Joshua Mersberg who is the grand nephew of Pa‘u Marshall Kealoha Saffery.
Lori Wong, garbed in the red of Hawaii Island, served as Pa‘u Princess for that island. Christy Castillo wore the blue and ahinahina representing Kahoolawe.
Shar Horner donned the pink and lokelani of Maui, and Che Weaver was in orange with kaunaoa representing Lanai. Shelly Kau‘i Carvalho was in the green and adorned with kukui nut representing Molokai.
Roxanne Palau, a veteran of several parades as a Pa‘u Princess, wore yellow with ilima lei representing Oahu, and Jade Nakamoto donned the colors of brown and white adorned with Niihau shell lei of that island. Abby Kuhaulua was in the purple and wore the mokihana representing Kauai.
“This is great,” said Noe Mahi of Anahola. “People should be honored to be selected to ride in this parade.”
Despite the rains that kept the open area of Rice Street deserted, a crowd of hundreds greeted the contingent at the historic County Building where the king’s court was assembled to review the passing units.
Spectators were treated to an offering of food by various vendors and shopping among a pair of craft tents while entertainment encouraged the return of sunshine.
“The word of the day is ‘Chee-ha! Blue skies,’” said Annette Hashimoto, one of the craft vendors.
The King’s Parade and Ho‘olaule‘a was sponsored by the County of Kauai and the Malie Foundation under the direction of Kauai Commissioner to the King Kamehameha Commission Melissia Sugai.