Kamehameha Day festivities are the latest addition to the ever-growing list of events canceled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
No lei-draping ceremonies, colorful parades or joyous hoolauleas scheduled on and around the June 11 holiday that fetes King Kamehameha I will take place this year, the King Kamehameha Day Celebration Commission recently announced. That includes festivities that had been planned on the Big Island on June 11 in Kapaau and Hilo and June 13 in Kailua-Kona.
“The decision to cancel these major, statewide events was made with the health and safety of our island communities and kupuna in mind. While we are hopeful that the worst of the COVID-19 health crisis will be behind us by June, we feel the prudent response at this time is to cancel our events so that all involved in our respective King Kamehameha Celebration festivities across the state can focus on matters important to health, welfare and economy,” said Kainoa Daines, chairman of the King Kamehameha Celebration Commission.
Manu Powers, chairperson of the King Kamehameha Day Celebration Parade held in Kailua-Kona, said the decision didn’t come easily.
“It is difficult to cancel such a beloved event at a time when each of us could so greatly benefit from a celebration of culture and tradition, but the parade has always been for and about the community and it is our responsibility to do what is best for our neighbors and families during these unpredictable times,” Powers said, noting the parade’s gratitude for the support of businesses and individuals that make the event possible each year.
With this year’s festivities called off, Daines said the commission will instead prepare for next year’s festivities and the 150th anniversary of the Kamehameha Day holiday in 2022
“We look forward to commemorating and celebrating Kamehameha Pai‘ea in 2021,” he said.
For more information, updates and 2021 dates, visit www.ags.hawaii.gov/kamehameha.