Colorfully clad horse riders, royal Hawaiian societies in full regalia and floats will grace a pair of processions to honor Kamehameha the Great.
Today's Kamehameha Day holiday observed by the state and the county salutes the king who conquered the Hawaiian Islands and established the kingdom of Hawaii in 1810.
From 9 to 10 a.m. today, royal Hawaiian societies will hold the Kamehameha Day march along Kaahumanu Avenue in Kahului, from Maui Community College to Hoaloha Park. The fourth annual march features more than five dozen participants, including members of the Royal Order of Kamehameha I, 'Ahahui Ka'ahumanu, Hale O Na Ali'i, the National Park Service and Shriners, said Royal Order spokesman George Kaho'ohanohano.
Maui police are closing only one lane of Wailuku-bound traffic from MCC to Puunene Avenue for the event, organizers said.
On Saturday, a pair of 95-year-old kupuna originally from Olowalu will lead the Kamehameha Day Commemorative Pa'u Parade and Ho'olaule'a festivities from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Lahaina.
Henrietta Heneli Mahuna and Adelaide Kaiwi Kuamu Sylva of Lahaina, native speakers of the Hawaiian language, are the parade marshals. The procession will start at 9:45 a.m. and follow Front Street from Kenui Street to the old Lahaina Armory Park across from Moku'ula.
The event theme is "E Ho'i I Ka Piko Aloha A E Ola Mau Ka 'Olelo Hawai'i," or "Return to Cultural Honor and Caring - The Hawaiian Language Lives," according to organizers Matthew Ericson and Daryl Fujiwara. They are the president and vice president, respectively, of the Lahaina Hawaiian Civic Club.
The parade will feature pa'u units - princesses, ladies in waiting and paniolo astride horses and wearing colors and flowers or emblems representing the various islands - a tradition that started in the 1920s.
This year, the princesses, colors, flowers or emblems, and their respective islands include:
* Tiara Dudoit wearing silver hinahina to represent Kahoolawe.
* Lori Freitas with green kukui for Molokai.
* Dominique Gilliam adorned with pink lokelani (roses) for Maui.
* Anela Haina wearing purple mokihana for Kauai.
* Natasha Jakobson with white or brown seashells for Niihau.
* Noe Keawe-Aiko adorned with orange kaunaoa for Lanai.
* Julie Mitchell wearing gold ilima for Oahu.
* Beverlee "Ani" Wilson with red lehua for Hawaii island.
Also, the Lahainaluna High School Foundation and the Lahaina Yacht Club will sponsor floats. Decorated vehicle units will feature Miss Aloha Hula 2009 Henoheanapuaikawao-kele Kane, Lahaina Hongwanji Mission, Relay For Life Lahaina and Maui Shriner midget cars.
Maui police will close Front Street along the parade route. Motorists should watch for road-closure signs and officers directing traffic, said Lahaina police Capt. Charles Hirata.
The daylong Ho'olaule'a at Banyan Tree Park will feature entertainment, awards, crafters and food booths, all benefiting Maui nonprofits. For more information, call Fujiwara at 242-7282.
* Kekoa Enomoto can be reached at email@example.com.