Don’t miss this annual lei draping event on June 9 of the King Kamehameha statue at Aliʻiōlani Hale in downtown Honolulu. The lei draping ceremony will begin at 3:00 p.m. Expect to see cultural protocols and pageantry, along with beautiful hand-made lei being draped on the outstretched arms of King Kamehameha. Enjoy the music of the Royal Hawaiian Band and entertainment by Hula Hālau Mōhala ʻIlima.
During the reign of King Kalākaua, seventh monarch and last king of the Hawaiian Kingdom, a statue honoring Kamehameha the Great was commissioned in Florence, Italy to commemorate the founder of the Kingdom. On its way from Europe, the ship carrying the bronze statue sank off the Falkland Islands. Fortunately, insurance covered the cost of striking a second statue. In the meantime, the first statue was recovered, and Honolulu soon had two statues. To honor the birthplace of Kamehameha, King Kalākaua gifted the original statue to the people of Kohala. The second statue proudly stands in front of Aliʻiōlani Hale, home to Hawaiʻi’s Supreme Court and the King Kamehameha V Judiciary History Center.
All are welcome to join the regal women of ʻAhahui Kaʻahumanu in stringing 30 foot plumeria lei to serve as a base of lei on the statue – a tradition that has been carried on by these gracious ladies for nearly as long as the statue has stood.
Loose plumeria flowers may also be dropped off at the statue on the morning of June 9 to be added to the 30 foot strands. Drop off is at the tent erected adjacent to the statue from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Photo: Dennis Oda / Honolulu Star-Advertiser