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What is the Kamehameha Floral Parade?

a clock tower surrounded by palm trees
Credit: PhotoLukeHawaii on YouTube

Why is there a parade?

Prior to being unified as one kingdom, each of the Hawaiian islands were under separate rule. In the year 1810, King Kamehameha the First unified the Hawaiian islands under his rule, thus forming the Kingdom of Hawaii. June 11th marks the Hawaii state holiday of King Kamehameha Day, a holiday honoring King Kamehameha the First. There are many events throughout the Hawaiian islands during June that celebrate King Kamehameha the First, including horse rodeos, lei drapings, galas, and parades. 

What happens during the parade?

During June in Honolulu, the King Kamehameha Floral Parade is held in honor of King Kamehameha the First. Similarly to other parades, there are beautiful floats featured in the Kamehameha Floral Parade. However, this parade features floats that are beautifully decorated with flowers that represent the native flora of Hawaii. There are also horse riders in this parade. Riding on the horses are Pau Princesses and their “princess unit” and also the Pau Queen. The “princess unit” usually consists of seven riders. These riders include a male page, three female attending riders, and also two male “outriders” or escorts. Also, the Pau Queen may have eight or more riders in her attending unit! These riders symbolize each island. Additionally, the riders and their horses are decorated using the flowers and plants that symbolize the island they represent. 

Each of the Pau Princesses represents one of the eight Hawaiian islands – Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Lanai, Niihau, Molokai, Hawaii Island, and Kahoolawe. The princesses also wear the traditional costumes in the color of the island that they are representing. In fact, the island of Hawaii is represented by the color red, the island of Maui by the color pink, the island of Oahu by the color golden yellow, the island of Kauai is by the color purple, the island of Molokai by the color green, the island of Lanai by the color orange, the island of Niihau by the color white, and the island of Kahoolawe by the color gray.

Kamehameha I Statue Photo by Julie G. on Unsplash

Where and When Will the Floral Parade Be Held?

The Kamehameha Floral Parade this year will be held on June 10th, 2023. The parade is scheduled to start at 9:00 AM and is scheduled to finish at 1:00 PM. The planned parade route begins at King Street, right in front of Iolani Palace, which is where the Hawaiian Royal Family used to live prior to Hawaii becoming governed by the United States government. The parade route goes from King Street to Punchbowl Street, then takes a left on Ala Moana Boulevard, and finally continues down Kalakaua Avenue, where it will finish at the beautiful Kapiolani Park. This parade, like many others, runs through the heart of Waikiki in Honolulu. The parade may impact both the traffic and parking in the areas surrounding the parade route.

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