The History of Hawai‘i: The Origins of the Kamehameha Day Floral Parade

In 1930, business leaders and planners of the defunct Mid-Pacific carnival launched spring and fall Festivals of the Pacific.

 

For 133 years HONOLULU Magazine has kept its readers and advertisers at the vanguard of fashion, insight and fun. Starting out as Paradise of the Pacific in 1888 with a commission from King Kalākaua, we’re the oldest continually publishing magazine west of the Mississippi. Here is a look into our archives.

 

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In the 1920s, Paradise of the Pacific wrote that locals bemoaned the effect tourists were having on Hawai‘i life. (Sound familiar?) But by the ’30s, Island culture was getting a boost from the increased interest of visitors.

 

In 1930, business leaders and planners of the defunct Mid-Pacific carnival launched spring and fall Festivals of the Pacific.

 

“The opening event will be a patriotic festival of Pacific races given by the school children of Royal School. … The Friday morning exercises … are significant of the conditions in Hawaii—where East meets West—and the result is one of the most astonishing examples of harmony in the world.”

 

The eight-day event included a pageant of “scenes of Hawaii’s changes since the arrival of the white men,” a dance at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, a Waimānalo fishing party and a water carnival on the Ala Wai Canal. The festival disappeared but one of the Mid-Pacific carnival’s traditions lives on as the Kamehameha Day Floral Parade.

 

 

From Our Files November

 

Learn more about the evolution of covers in HONOLULU Magazine and Paradise of the Pacific: 125 Years of Covers, available at shop.honolulumagazine.com.

 


 

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