Saturday (June 12), 10am parade / 9am – 5pm ho’olaule’a, Front St., Lahaina, Free
Kamehameha the Great. Everyone knows this warrior king for having conquered the Hawaiian Islands with battlefield technologies of colonial introduction. While these days such a feat may not seem that a big deal, it must be reiterated that uniting the islands was no new ambition. Until 1810 it remained unattained—though not untried—and Hawai’i’s last king, Kalakaua, called each endeavor until Kamehameha, “disastrous attempts.” But what I find most beguiling of the Kamehameha I myth are the mysterious omens rumored to surround his birth, foretelling his might. Legend says his mother hungered for and ate the eyeballs of niuhi (tiger sharks, and perhaps even great whites), and that Halley’s comet would have scorched the sky around the time of his delivery. Too, earthquakes and strange white rainbows were reported, and moi are said to have feared and loathed the one prophesied to be “the killer of chiefs.” Today, with streets, statues and parades, you might never guess his name means “the lonely one.” Friday is his holiday and Saturday, Lahaina Town will celebrate with an annual parade and ho’olaule’a. Beautiful pa’u riders are the centerpiece, decorated with the flowers and colors representative of each—now unified—island. 808-667-9175, visitlahaina.com.