Destination: Construction of ‘Iolani Palace began in 1879 and was completed in 1882 when King Kalakaua and Queen Kapi’olani moved in. It is the only official residence of royalty in the United States.
Focus: History, Culture
Soundtrack for the drive: Michael Jackson, Off The Wall
Quote of the Day: Don’t stop ’til you get enough ~ MJ
Today is the 175th birthday celebration for King David Kalakaua and the palace is commemorating the event with a performance by the Royal Hawaiian Band and a review of the palace guard.
Kalakaua was a descendant of the Kona Chiefs who helped Kamehameha I in his conquest and consolidation of the Hawaiian Islands. He held numerous government positions before taking the throne in 1874. A patron of the arts and a prominent socialite and entertainer, he is remembered as the Merrie Monarch. During his reign Kalakaua was the first king to visit the United States and the first monarch to circumnavigate the globe.
The crowd that has gathered is an interesting mix of gay guys and Asian tourists. I may be the only haole chick here. In true Hawaiian style everything is laid back,
and nothing is starting on time.
Across the street is the Hawaii Supreme Court with its welcoming statue of Kamehameha I and what is arguably the country’s prettiest post office.
Unfortunately I have to get to class and can’t stay for the performance which will hopefully start any minute now. In April there is a week-long “Merrie Monarch” festival for the “perpetuation, preservation, and promotion of the art of hula and the Hawaiian culture” held in Kalakaua’s honor. I’ll be sure to plan more time for that in the spring.