King Kamehameha the Great was the Hawaiian king that united the islands, and his likeness and the celebration of his story and the story of his successors are found all over Hawaii.
We felt pretty lucky to be here on such a great day for the islands so we made plans to attend some of the celebration, namely the King Kamehameha parade that was happening on Saturday. King Kamehameha day is June 11th but the excitement was kicking off the day before. Lucky for Brent and because of the timing of the king’s day, he had that Monday off as well for the state holiday!
We parked at the Ala Moana shopping center which has *FREE* parking and multiple levels, bought some coffee and snacks, and sat down to enjoy the parade.
But as Hawaii weather likes to do (at the most random and unpredictable times), it started to rain. We toughed it out for a bit and then tried hiding under a scraggly tree but by the end of the parade, we were pretty soaked.
The parade began with King Kamehameha and his court, sporting ancient Hawaiian ceremonial garb. “King Kamehameha” himself wore his Mahiole (feathered helmet) and his ‘Ahu ‘ula (feathered cloak). Their ride was slightly more modern though.
Then we watched all of the Hawaiian princesses of the islands plus their court ride by on their noble steeds, each one dressed in a different color. The floral arrangements on their horses and heads were absolutely stunning and incredibly intricate, you have to see them for yourself!
Then many different organizations and schools came by showing off their prowess at the ukulele, dance, or baton twirling, some even from the mainland. Overall it was a fun experience albeit a wet one!
The good thing about Hawaii is that even though you’ll be soaked in minutes, you’ll be dry just as fast. Don’t let it ruin your day!
The party was continuing at Kapiolani park so we headed over to check it out. It was about 2 miles away from where we watched the parade so we decided to take it slow and explore on the way there. We went through the Hilton Village a little bit which was interesting and humongous, then decided to try and get to their “rooftop garden” where they hold their luau.
An employee giggled a little when we asked to see the garden then let the way. It turns out, “garden” can mean 3 potted plants …..
The view was pretty though!
They also had a really pretty mural that I had to take a picture in front of.
It’s Diamond Head!
We continued our trek to Kapiolani park by meandering along the beach side walk way which took us along the backs of the fancy I’ll-never-be-able-to-afford-it hotels right beside the water.
We did finally end up at the park a little sweaty and maybe a tiny bit winded and were greeted by the sounds of the Hawaiian singer playing his ukulele at the bandstand and the smell of delicious island food cooking at the surrounding tents.
I ordered a pastele which reminded me of my mama’s tamales. A pastele is a Puerto Rican “tamale” made of green banana and various meats, and here in Hawaii they give it a local twist. It was absolutely delicious! I love trying new foods. The arroz con gandulez, also Puerto Rican, was very flavorful as well. It is so interesting to see how other cultures are so similar but also so different.
What do you know about King Kamehameha? Share below!