Kamehameha Day is June 11, but it was observed and celebrated at the U.S. Capitol early on Sunday to coincide with Hokulea’s arrival.
Part of the annual celebration is the draping of lei on the statue of King Kamehameha at the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
The Hawaii State society, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, members of Hawaii’s congressional delegation, community leaders and Hokulea crewmembers participated in the ceremonies.
“It was really amazing to see the power of community and how many people from Hawaii are in the Washington D.C. area, there were hundreds of people there,” recalled Hokulea captain Nainoa Thompson. “It was just basically one of the highlights of being in Washington, D.C.”
The celebration on Sunday, also honored Father Damien at his statue there also at the U.S. Capitol.
The entire Hokulea crew has been very busy since arriving in D.C., “good” busy Thompson says.
Still to come this week, presentations at the National Institute of Health, Coast Guard headquarters, the Pentagon, Smithsonian Institute, plus education programs in collaboration with National Geographic, and canoe tours for the public.
Hokulea is docked at the Washington Canoe Club.
She’s scheduled to depart the D.C. area on Thursday with the next big engagement in New York City.