When Hawaii observes Kuhio Day, a state holiday, on March 26, thoughts will turn to the alii it honors — Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana‘ole, who served in Congress for nearly 20 years, championing causes to benefit Hawaii and the Hawaiian people. Each year, Kauai, the island where he was born on March 26, 1871, hosts three free events in remembrance.
Anahola Prince Kuhio Day Celebration
>> When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday
>> Where: Anahola Beach Park, Anahola
>> Phone: (808) 392-6119
>> Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
>> On the Net: facebook.com/kahalepono
NOW IN its ninth year, this event offers live music; hula performances; food and craft booths; cultural, health and wellness exhibits; and games, water slides and other activities for keiki. In addition to paying tribute to Prince Kuhio, it recognizes a person who exemplifies his qualities in service to the Anahola community. This year, it will be the late Hosea K. Lovell, a respected educator and cultural resource.
The festival’s vibe is casual and low-key — no pretentiousness here. Barefooted schoolkids in T-shirts and shorts perform hula with endearing exuberance. Community groups make and sell plates of poke, kalua pig, laulau and smoked meat as fundraisers. Bring your swimsuit; the beach is right across the street.
“It’s a great opportunity for visitors to interact with local people,” said Kahanu Keawe, one of the organizers. “It’s a big family party; everyone is welcomed like ohana.”
Prince Kuhio Festival
>> When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 22
>>Where: Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa, 1571 Poipu Road, Poipu
>> Phone: (808) 240-6362
>> Email: email@example.com
A PROTOCOL ceremony, including oli (chants) and presentations of lei, sets the tone for the day: one of gratitude and admiration for a beloved alii.
“The ceremony helps visitors understand what the festival is all about,” said Moani Tolentino, the Grand Hyatt Kauai’s Hawaiian culture manager. “The chants focus visitors’ attention on Prince Kuhio and spark interest in him. A large poster board will be set up with pictures and information about the prince’s life and contributions. I would like visitors to learn about him and why we are honoring him.”
Cultural demonstrations have been a big draw since the festival began 18 years ago; this year there will be lomilomi massage, poi pounding, lauhala and coconut frond weaving and the making of lei, tapa, Hawaiian weapons and Niihau shell jewelry. Make your own lau hala bracelet ($5) and Niihau shell earrings ($50), and reserve time to peruse the array of local crafts, including jewelry, lau hala bags, floral hair picks and art made of sand, driftwood and foliage.
Prince Kuhio Commemorative Services
>> When: 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. March 23
>> Where: Prince Kuhio Park, Koloa (next to Prince Kuhio Condominiums, which is at 5061 Lawai Road)
>> Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR 30 years, Hawaiian societies, civic clubs, government officials and organizations serving the Hawaiian community have gathered at Prince Kuhio Park to pay homage to its namesake through hula, chants, speeches and presentations of hookupu (gifts). They include the Kauai chapter of the Royal Order of Kamehameha I, caretaker of the park, which marks the place where the prince was born.
The park was established in 1924 with a 5-acre gift of land from McBryde Sugar Co., then a subsidiary of Alexander & Baldwin. In May, an additional donation of 16 acres from Kukui‘ula Development Co. Hawaii, a joint venture of A&B and DMB expanded the park’s size to 21 acres. Historical sites there include a heiau, fishpond and the foundations of Kuhio’s home.
“We proudly honor Prince Jonah Kuhio for all he has done for the Hawaiian people,” said Leon Gonsalves Jr., the alii ai moku (leader) of the Royal Order’s Kauai chapter. “Our ceremony is not a festival with entertainment, crafts or food booths. Ceremony participation is by invitation only, but visitors are welcome to come and observe.”
A new policy regarding public use of Prince Kuhio Park is being discussed; email email@example.com for information.