Mayor Kirk Caldwell celebrated the inaugural King Kamehameha III (Kauikeaouli) Statue Lei Draping birthday celebration at historic Thomas Square Friday morning.

The Royal Hawaiian Band and the Honolulu Fire Department, both of which were founded by King Kamehameha III, as well as members of the Royal Societies and the Native Hawaiian community, took part in this first-ever birthday ceremony to honor the king. The King Kamehameha III statue was commissioned by the Honolulu Commission on Culture and the Arts (COCA), and was dedicated on July 31, 2018.

“Kauikeaouli, Kamehameha III, was an extraordinary leader, who created a constitution and shared power, formed the first fire department west of the Mississippi, established the Royal Hawaiian Band, and fought for a strong and independent Hawaiian kingdom,” said Mayor Caldwell. “His statue at Thomas Square, Hawaii’s oldest park, and one of our nation’s oldest parks, will tell his story and that of Hawaii through the ages. It is only fitting that we celebrate Kauikeaouli’s life by placing lei on his statue to celebrate his birth. We hope that future mayors and our community will keep this tradition alive.”