Every year in June, the people of Hawai‘i commemorate the great monarch, King Kamehameha I, who unified the island chain in the early 1800s and become the most revered leader in Hawaiian history. Throughout the Islands, traditional floral parades and activities set the stage for plentiful photo opportunities, including the regal pa‘u riders on horseback representing the florals and colors of the eight major islands.
Here in Kailua-Kona, the annual King Kamehameha Day Celebration Parade takes place on Saturday, June 16 beginning at 9 a.m. The parade travels through Historic Kailua Village along Ali‘i Drive, where visitors can see more than 120 horses, marching bands, decorated floats, a horse-drawn carriage, hulu halau and the beautiful pa‘u princesses on horseback leading their respective equestrian units. This year’s grand marshal, Leabert Lindsey, is a legendary rodeo man and performing musician. He will be accompanied by 25 riders on horseback, many of whom will be strumming ukuleles and singing along the way. The pa‘u queen, DeeDee Bertelmann, will be joined by her ohana (family) from Pu‘uanahulu in North Kona. This year’s Miss Rodeo Hawai‘i, Macey Loando, will also be on hand, along with many other members of the Kona community.
After the parade, Grammy-Award winning artist Cyril Pahinui will perform in a free concert at Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel. He’ll be joined by Darlene Ahuna, a multiple Na Hoku Hanohano Award winner. A ho‘olaule‘a (Hawaiian music and craft festival) will also take place at the hotel from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Just a short drive down the hill to Kailua-Kona, Holualoa Inn is centrally located for your Kona Hawai‘i resort vacation. Our romantic Hawaiian bed and breakfast features an historic estate home on 30 acres of Kona coffee.
Innkeeper Holualoa Inn