King Kamehameha Celebration Floral Parade honors grand marshals Aaron David Mahi and John Riggle

Local News

The 103rd Annual King Kamehameha Celebration Floral Parade was held on Saturday. 

It started at 9 a.m. 

This year the parade honors Hawaiian marching band music with the theme: Kuupau a Kanilea Na Mele Kupuna – Play Without Restraint Until the Songs of Our Ancestors Resound Joyously! 

The parade honors grand marshals, Aaron David Mahi and John Riggle, both of whom have played an instrumental role in Hawaii’s marching band scene.

The parade started at King Street fronting Iolani Palace, went down Punchbowl Street, Ala Moana Boulevard and Kalakaua Avenue. The parade ended at Monsarrat Avenue and Queen Kapiolani Park. 

After the parade there was live music, food, and booths at the King Kamehameha Celebration Hoolaulea at Kapiolani Regional Park from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  

From 1981 until 2005, Mahi held the position of Bandmaster of the Royal Hawaiian Band, the only full-time municipal band in the nation. Under his conducting, members marched in hundreds of parades across the islands, performed at many schools and parks, in addition to stage time at New York City’s Carnegie Hall. A 1971 graduate of Kamehameha Schools Kapalama (KSK), Mahi also served as conductor of the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra from 1988 through 1995.

A native of California, Riggle taught high school band at KSK from 1977 until retiring in 2009. During his tenure at KSK, Riggle developed the Kamehameha Schools Warrior Marching Band and Color Guard into one of the most successful programs in the United States. He returned to KSK as temporary band director from 2012-2013, leading students to the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Parade for President Barack Obama, before completing two years as band director at Kailua High School. Riggle currently serves as managing director for Na Koa Alii – Hawaii All state Marching Band.

This year marks the 147th Annual King Kamehameha Day holiday with other festivities across the islands. 

On Oahu, the annual celebration of King Kamehameha started with the Lei Draping Ceremony on Friday, June 7 fronting Aliiolani Hale. 

For more information and full list of upcoming King Kamehameha Celebration events please visit

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.