Kamehameha festivities still captivate many
Saturday's Kamehameha Floral Parade (parade route)
|As part of the King Kamehameha Celebration, the arms of the statue of Kamehameha I are draped with 13-foot flower lei created by volunteers. The ceremony begins at 4:30 this afternoon.
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Sure, you've seen the floral parade in person or on television more times in its 84 years of existence than you can count. It's also likely you've checked out a few of the festival's popular two-day hula competitions at the Blaisdell Center Arena. There have been 27 in all.
But admit it, you still get chicken skin gazing at downtown Honolulu's King Kamehameha I statue his arms draped with long strands of fragrant flower lei while driving down King Street by day (with throngs of tourists snapping pictures) or by night (when spotlights cast his imposing visage eerily aglow).
If it has been a while since you last checked out the weeklong festival's lineup of events, this might be a great year to see what you've been missing.
The King Kamehameha Celebration Commission selected "Nana E Ka 'iwi," which means "look to the native resource," as its theme for the 2001 festivities.
The theme encourages young people to steer the course of the Islands' future by looking at the examples set by the elder stewards of the land.
Although Kamehameha Day is officially June 11, events are scheduled from today through June 23. For more information, call 586-0333.
Here's a list of the King Kamehameha Celebration Commission's official events.
3:30 p.m.: Royal Hawaiian Band concert, at Ali'iolani Hale, at the Honolulu civic center. Free.
4:30 p.m.: Decoration ceremony at the King Kamehameha statue, Ali'iolani Hale. The statue's arms are draped with 13-foot flower lei created by volunteers on site throughout the day. Music and hula will be part of the festivities. Free.
9:30 a.m.: 85th annual Floral Parade. Beginning at King and Richards streets downtown, the parade's floral floats, pa'u riders and marching bands wind their way to Waikiki's Kapi'olani Park, via Punchbowl Street, Ala Moana and Kalakaua Avenue. Free.
10 a.m.: Annual Folklife Festival at Kapi'olani Park. Arts and crafts demonstrations, food booths, entertainment, demonstrations of poi-pounding, tapa-making, lei-making, Ni'ihau shell lei-making, stone tool-making, saddle-making, storytelling and more. Free.
6 p.m. June 22, 1 p.m. June 23: 28th annual King Kamehameha Hula Competition at Blaisdell Arena. Halau from Hawai'i, California and Japan compete in traditional and contemporary hula styles. As many as 500 dancers from 19 dance schools will participate. Tickets: $10.25, $9.25, $8.25 and $7.25 ($19 section sold out for both days), are on sale beginning June 18 at the box office and Ticket Plus outlets (526-4400).
9 a.m.: Annual Floral Parade in Kailua-Kona. Floral floats, marching units, decorated vehicles and pa'u riders meander down scenic Ali'i Drive. An awards presentation follows. Free.
9 a.m.: Floral Parade and Ho'olaule'a in Lihu'e. A parade through Lihu'e is followed by a ho'olaule'a with food, and arts and craft booths. Free.
9 a.m.: Ho'olaule'a in Kaunakakai. An entertainment stage and food and craft booths fill Ala Malama Street in front of the Bank of Hawaii. Free.