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A favorite floral parade feature is the traditional royal paʻu riders. They represent a royal court led by a queen on horseback, followed by princesses representing the eight major islands of Hawaiʻi and Molokini. Each princess is attended by paʻu ladies in waiting. Paʻu women are dressed in colorful and elegant 19th century riding gowns accented with lei and other floral arrangements.

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On the Island of Hawaii, there are three floral parades held. One in the town of  Kapaʻau and one in the town of Hilo. There is a King Kamehameha Day Celebration Parade and Hoʻolauleʻa in Kailua Kona on Aliʻi Drive each year. There is also a lei draping ceremony in Kapaau at the statue of King Kamehameha there.

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The most important ritual of the celebration dates back to 1901 after the Territory of Hawaiʻi was established. It is the afternoon draping ceremony in which the Kamehameha Statue in front of Aliʻiolani Hale and ʻIolani Palace on King Street in downtown Honolulu is draped in long strands of lei. The same is done at the Kamehameha Statue on the former monarch’s home island, the Big Island of Hawaiʻi.

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