History buffs visiting Oahu next weekend are in luck – the King Kamehameha Parade is coming up on Saturday, June 15. Held every year to commemorate the legacy of the famous King Kamehameha I, this Celebration Parade honors the man who established the first capitol of the United Hawaiian Kingdom at Kailua-Kona in 1812. It’s the perfect Oahu attraction to introduce you to Hawaiian history!
Since the Parade is all about Hawaiian culture, you’ll get a great chance see a lot of traditional Hawaiian dancing, singing, and costuming. A highlight of the parade will be the Pa’u Princesses, women on horseback who symbolize each of the eight Hawaiian islands. The term “pa’u” refers to traditional early twentieth century clothing worn by these women, a long skirt made of a single piece of fabric that’s wrapped around the body to create elegant folds that cover the rider and the horse. The color of the pa’u symbolizes the island that the Pa’u Princess represents: Oahu, for example, is represented by the color yellow, while the Big Island is represented by the color red. Each Princess’ outfit is complemented by a matching wreath of flowers known as the Hawaiian lei.
The parade will also feature a number of other costumed riders and dancers, including hula dancers, marching bands, and special equestrian units. After the parade, a ho‘olaule‘a (music and art festival) begins at Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel. Expect to see a lot of traditional arts and crafts, too, so it’s a great opportunity for visitors to Oahu to take home some authentic Hawaiian souvenirs. There will also be a free concert beginning at noon outside the hotel. The Historic Kailua Village is also full of shops and galleries showcasing Hawaiian arts and crafts, in addition to a number of historical Oahu attractions and landmarks.
Date: Saturday, June 15
Start Time: 9:00 am
Location: Royal Kona Resort
If you enjoy historical Oahu attractions, you should also pay a visit to the Iolani Palace in downtown Honolulu, a National Historical Landmark considered the official home of the Hawaiian monarchy. Although it was built after King Kamenehama’s time in 1882, it is another great monument to Hawaiian history and culture. To complete your tour of the history of the Hawaiian monarchy in Oahu, you should also stop by the lovely Queen Emma Summer Palace, built as a summer home for Queen Emma, King Kamehameha IV, and their son, Prince Albert Edward. Designed as a way to escape the bustle and heat of Honolulu during the hot summer months, the Summer Palace remains a peaceful retreat today.