Restoration Day celebrations on both sides of island Friday

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Hawaii County residents plan to celebrate the county’s first officially recognized Hawaiian Restoration Day on Friday with celebrations on both sides of the island.


Hawaii County residents plan to celebrate the county’s first officially recognized Hawaiian Restoration Day on Friday with celebrations on both sides of the island.

The celebration in West Hawaii begins at 8 a.m. at Puukohola Heiau with education stations, singing, flags and a 21 pu (shell) salute. A vehicle convoy will proceed beginning at noon down Saddle Road to Puuhuluhulu, with the celebration continuing from there to the University of Hawaii at Hilo, for a 2:30 p.m. ceremony at the newly raised flagpole.

The evening is capped off at Uncle Roberts Awa Bar in Kalapana, where music will be provided by the Kalapana Kingdom Band, Dirty Roots, Sudden Rush and Humble Soul.

“Just everyone trying to celebrate the day. There’s a lot going on,” said Puna Councilman Daniel Paleka. “I’m looking forward to it.”

The County Council last month sent a nonbinding resolution in English and Hawaiian to the state Legislature, asking the state to declare July 31 “La Hoihoi Ea,” or Restoration Day, in recognition of the day in 1843 that independence was restored to the Kingdom of Hawaii.

Speakers and presentations on everything from sustainable gardens and energy independence to the Thirty Meter Telescope standoff on Mauna Kea will be the order of the day in East Hawaii.

The event will be held at Hilo council chambers and the adjacent atrium, but people from all over the island are expected to attend, said Bob Ernst, one of the organizers.

“We’re looking forward to a very comprehensive educational day,” Ernst said.

The first celebration of that day begins at 9 a.m. Friday and continues to about 3:30 p.m.

Paleka, the sponsor of the resolution, is among the scheduled speakers. He’ll be delivering a special message at 9:15 a.m.

Hanalei “Hank” Fergerstrom, a local cultural practitioner, will speak at 2:30 p.m. about his observations and analysis of the situation on Mauna Kea with the pending construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope.

In between, Isaac “Paka” Harp will talk about the Kue Peition that was circulated in the late 1890s opposing U.S. annexation of the islands, Paul Komara will talk about the Hawaii Common Law Grand Jury, Jerryl Mauhili and Kent Olsen will describe the Kanaka Garden project and sustainable design, Shelli Mahi will discuss Hawaiian history and the Crown Lands, Albert Haa Jr. will describe Na Ohana and Gene Tamashiro will talk about energy independence and the national registry.

Malama Aina Hui, a coalition of environmental and sustainability groups, is featuring an array of displays and demonstrations in the atrium and hallway outside council chambers.


They include a zero waste exhibit from Recycle Hawaii, tips on albizia elimination from the Big Island Invasive Species Committee, food waste composting, fire ant control, seed planting, GMO free Hawaii, solar energy and home garden building.

Restoration Day marks the day that independence was restored to the Hawaiian Kingdom on July 31, 1843, after being seized and forcefully taken by Lord George Paulet, a captain of the British Royal Navy’s HMS Carysfort six months earlier. Adm. Richard Darton Thomas of the British Royal Navy on that date ordered the Union Jack removed and replaced with the Hawaiian flag, thus returning the Kingdom of Hawaii to power.