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Royal Sonesta welcomes King Kamehameha

LIHU‘E — The pu announcing the royal court will sound at 10 a.m. Saturday when the King Kamehameha Day Celebration Commission, the Kaua‘i Museum and the Royal Sonesta Kaua‘i Resort Lihu‘e present the King Kamehameha ‘Ohana Day Celebration at the Kalapaki Beach resort.

‘The theme for Kaua‘i’s observance is Living Healthy,” said Lyah Kama Drake, Kaua‘i commissioner to the KKDC Commission. “We’ll have the Hawaiian civic clubs participating in the protocol, and families can relax and have fun on the lawn while being entertained.”

Saturday’s event marks a coming out from the pandemic, when the King Kamehameha Day activities were either shut down or curtailed.

“We’re not out of it yet,” Kama Drake said. “We ask that people be mindful of each other. Vaccines and booster shots will be available for walk-ins, with no appointments needed.”

People coming for their second dose or booster shots are reminded to bring their proof of vaccine with them.

Once settled in the garden area fronting the resort ballrooms, people can enjoy being entertained by Da Bruddahs, who will serve as the day’s emcees before taking the stage for their own performance. Other entertainers scheduled to appear include Na Hoku Hanohano award winners Ei Nei, and Mike Ka‘awa and Friends.

Some of the cultural exhibits include lei-making by volunteers from the Kaua‘i Family and Community Education that was a resounding success during the recent May Day is Lei Day event at the resort.

“We’ll have poi-pounding, too,” Kama Drake said. “And there’s a chef coming from Honolulu to make poi smoothies that will be available for people to have. It’s about eating healthy, too.”

The resort will have food offerings.

“We’ll have a lot of giveaways,” Kama Drake said. “We just want people to come and be entertained.”

The roots of King Kamehameha Day events date back to Dec. 22, 1871, when King Kamehameha V proclained a national holiday to honor and celebrate his grandfather, and the father of the Hawaiian kingdom, states the King Kamehameha Celebration website.

Originally, the people of Hawai‘i wanted to mark the legacy of Lot Kapuaiwa, or Kamehameha V, on his birthday that happened on Dec. 11. But being the humble chief that he was, he opted to honor his grandfather instead, and pushed the holiday as far away from his birthday, resulting in the arbitrary date of June 11, making June 11, 1872 the very first Kamehameha Day holiday celebrated.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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