King Kamehameha Day is Hawaii’s official observance for the leader who unified the Islands under the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1810.
No one actually knows why Kamehameha’s grandson, Kamehameha V, decreed June 11 as the day to honor his namesake, but it’s been Kamehameha Day ever since. In the days of the Kingdom, it was celebrated with carnivals and horse races.
Today, Kamehameha Day remains an occasion to honor the pivotal figure in the Islands’ history. On the afternoon of June 11, his statue outside Aliiolani Hale in downtown Honolulu is draped with garlands. On the following Saturday, a parade starts at the old seat of Hawaiian royalty, Iolani Palace, and ends with a hoolaulea (festival) at Kapiolani Park in Waikiki.
Another event, the King Kamehameha Hula Competition, pays tribute to Kamehameha's memory with a showcase of traditional dance.
King Kamehameha Day Parade
Downtown Honolulu to Waikiki
777 Ward Ave.
Honolulu, HI 96814