A brightly-colored royal Hawaiian court, princesses in elegant gowns, and horses decorated in elaborate floral arrangements. It’s the floral parade in honor of King Kamehameha Day, a public holiday in the state of Hawaii. If you’re lucky, your Hawaii vacation might fall on this day and you’ll get a chance to see a really special cultural tradition of the islands. Expect to see Hawaiian pageantry at its finest.
The holiday was first proclaimed in 1871 to honor King Kamehameha, Hawaii’s legendary warrior and leader who united the Hawaiian Islands into one royal kingdom. The celebratory floral parade takes place in multiple locations—on Kauai, the Island of Hawaii (the Big Island) and Oahu (where the parade route is 4 miles, longest parade route in the nation).
Kauai’s parade takes place in Lihue in front of the historic County Building. It draws a mix of locals and tourists with their kids and lawn chairs in tow, and it very much feels like a small town affair. My first time attending this parade, it was apparent that those participating conveyed a great sense of honor. I felt like a dumb-dumb for almost having skipped it. I thought you might enjoy some of the photos.
As always, thank you for reading!