Although North Kohala is a small community on Hawaiʻi Island, each year on Kamehameha Day (June 11) it puts forth a large grassroots effort to present a full day of celebration and tribute to King Kamehameha I. Visitors are welcomed to the North Kohala towns of Hawi and Kapa’au to take part in this unique local event. All events are free. A trip to this historic area on King Kamehameha Day is sure to be a highlight of a trip to the Islands. While in North Kohala, visitors can take in the natural beauty of ocean cliffs and ranchland, visit breathtaking Pololu Valley, and browse the area’s many shops, restaurants, and galleries. Bring a camera. Morning protocol begins at sunrise, royal procession, halau performances, receiving lei at 7:00 a.m. and draping at 8:00 a.m. More info: North Kohala Kamehameha Day Celebration and King Kamehameha Celebration Commission | State Foundation on Culture and the Arts (hawaii.gov)
2023 King Kamehameha Day in Kohala
Kamehameha Day in North Kohala: All-day festivities, all events free, always on June 11th. All events of the North Kohala Kamehameha Day Celebration take place in and near the towns of Hawi and Kapa’au on the northern tip of the Big Island of Hawai’i.
- Procession of Royal Societies 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM. There are four Royal Societies: The Royal Order of Kamehameha, ʻAhahui Kaʻahumanu, Hale o Nā Aliʻi and Māmakakaua (Daughters and Sons of Hawaiian Warriors). The four Royal Societies will lead, followed by the Daughters of Hawaiʻi, the ʻAhahui Kaʻiulani and Hawaiian Civic Clubs.
- Lei Draping Ceremony and Tradition Paʻu Parade 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM: See the original statue of King Kamehameha I in all its holiday glory. The statue in Kapa’au is decorated with many 20-foot-long floral lei created in tribute to the King.
Watch a traditional pa’u parade with horses and riders adorned in flowers and colors to represent each Hawaiian Island. At 9:00 AM the road closes while Honorees and Pa’u riders make their way from Kohala High and Elementary School to the statue and Kamehameha Park in Kapa’au. Parade to begin promptly at 9:00 AM.
- Hana Noeʻau 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM: Enjoy “hands-on”education exhibits that ends the dayʻs festivities at the statue.
- ʻAha 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Celebrate the Kohala Festivities and the ceremonial release of KŪKULU, A Tribute to the Pillars of Mauna a Wākea, a compilation CD acknowledging, recognizing and honoring all who stand for Mauna Kea and places everywhere around the world.
You might also like: King Kamehameha the Great (hawaiionthecheap.com)