“From the Waikiki Inn to the Seaside Hotel the beach and all available space back of it was occupied by spectators. … There were hundreds of tourists hailing from the four corners of the earth and representatives of almost every race on the globe in the crowd.” (Hawaiian Gazette, February 25, 1913)
This was Hawaiʻi’s first pageant, part of the 1913 Mid-Winter Carnival, commemorating the conquering of Oʻahu by Hawaiʻi’s first King.
“Plunging across sunlit billows and riding swiftly upon the crest of the reef-combed rollers of Waikiki Bay yesterday, a fleet of war canoes brought the conquering army of Kamehameha the Great to Oahu, the first scene in the first historical pageant ever staged in the territory.” (Hawaiian Gazette, February 25, 1913)
“Kamehameha and his warriors were late landing. It was at first intended that the canoes bearing the brown soldiers should reach the beach between the Outrigger club grounds and the Moana hotel at o’clock, but one delay after another came up …”
“… the greatest of which was the tardy arrival of, the Pacific Mail steamer Mongolia, aboard of which were 134 passengers who had come all the way from San Francisco on purpose to witness the pageant.” (Star-Bulletin, February 21, 1913)
“In all there were in the flotilla about forty canoes, big and little, and as they paddled away in the gloom of the early morning each canoe was loaded to the guards.”
Palenapa, of the Honolulu police force, portrayed Kamehameha. Seventy Kamehameha Schools boys, a large delegation from the Kamehameha Aquatic club and several other organizations took part.
“Not a phase of the old conflict had been forgotten and as many of the features that made the flotilla of Kamehameha the Great unique had been placed aboard the canoes as could be got together in the short time allowed the manager of the pageant.”
“There were the tabu sticks, carried by the Puloulou, or custodian of the sacred things, there were the feathered tufts or the kahilis, sign of royalty, there: were the pauas or bows, and the puas or arrows, the deadly little poisoned darts”. (Star Bulletin, February 21, 1913)
“Probably over seven thousand people were at Waikiki to see the spectacle.”
“It is to be regretted that there were no grandstand accommodations and I am afraid that many or our visitors did not Vet a very good view of the picturesque ceremonies carried on. I hoe that if anything of the kind is attempted again, arrangements will be for more seating.” (Chillingworth, Star-Bulletin, February 21, 1913)
“All credit to John H. Wise, chairman of the regatta committee, and his lieutenants for making the affair the undoubted success it was despite the manifold difficulties with which they found themselves confronted at every stage of the preparations.”
“All credit to Director (Charles) Chillingworth, who stood behind his assistants, directing the work, fitting the multiplicity of detail into beautiful, harmonious whole.”
“Immediately after the ceremony of landing most of the crowd returned to town, though a large number gathered on the beach around the army of natives and were awarded by witnessing the hula dance.” (Star Bulletin, February 21, 1913)
Carnival events in 1913 included the Landing of Kamehameha, special productions at the Opera House, Horse Races, Military Parade, Floral Parade, Hawaiian luau and other events around town. Publicity on the mainland is credited for bringing in more than 2,000 tourists for the activities.
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