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Join Honolulu Parks & Rec for the 95th Annual Lei Day Celebration!

Free event scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, May 1 at Kapi‘olani Park

Excerpts from the 95th Annual Lei Day Celebration Program. Visit for a full copy.

O‘AHU – Mayor Rick Blangiardi , the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), and the Lei Court welcome everyone to take part in the 95th Annual Lei Day Celebration, a time-honored event perpetuating Hawaiian culture and one of the most recognized symbols of aloha…the lei! This free celebration will be held on Monday, May 1, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Kapi‘olani Park near the Bandstand.

Nearing one-hundred years of celebration, this tradition showcases the skill and artistry of Hawai‘i’s lei makers, while featuring fantastic local entertainment and performances from hula hālau, including:

9 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.

Royal Hawaiian Band

10 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Nā Wahine O Ka Hula Mai Ka Pu‘uwai

11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Investiture Ceremony for the 94th Lei Court (presentations, hula performances, and offering of ho‘okupu, gifts)

12:30 p.m.

Opening of the Lei Contest Exhibit by the Lei Court

1:20 p.m. – 1:50 p.m.

Bobby Moderow, Jr.

2:10 p.m. - 2:40 p.m.

Anthony Pfluke

3 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.

Mana Maoli

4 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Hālau Hula ‘O Hōkūlani

For a printable copy of the program, please visit the official Lei Day Celebration website at or click here.

2023 Lei Queen Leilani Kūpahu-Marino Kahoʻāno and her court, First Princess Melodie Lynn Leinaʻala Naluaʻi Vega and Princess Charlene Kapualani Kauhane Harano, will reign over this year’s festivities. This includes the Investiture Ceremony, the Lei Contest Exhibit, and numerous other cultural experiences.  

One of those experiences is the coveted Lei Contest Exhibit, showcasing some of the world’s most exquisite handcrafted lei in a variety of materials, colors, and styles. Those wishing to enter fresh flower lei for the contest must submit them between 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Lei Receiving Booth on the day of the celebration. The public will have an opportunity to experience the exhibit from 12:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m., following the judging of the lei and the official opening of the exhibit by the Lei Court. This year’s Lei Day theme is Lei Kuahiwi – mountain lei.

A wide variety of additional music, lei-making, craft, and dining opportunities are available around the park throughout the day including:

The smooth sounds of Hawaiian Steel Guitar Association performers in the Lei Exhibit area, the open area between the Bandstand and Waikīkī Shell, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Lei-making and Hawaiian craft demonstrations in Kūlana Lei, a village of Hawaiian artisans, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
A culturally diverse selection of food vendors, craft, and lei merchants located around the park throughout the celebration!

Make sure to use the hashtag #leidaycelebration when sharing your memories on social media.

The closing ceremony for the annual Lei Day Celebration is held on the morning of May 2 at Mauna ‘Ala (The Royal Mausoleum) at 9 a.m., and at Kawaiāha‘o Church at approximately 10:15 a.m. During these events, lei from the Lei Contest Exhibit are placed on the graves of Hawai‘i’s ali‘i (royalty). The public is also invited to attend these events.

The first Lei Day was celebrated on May 1, 1927 with a few people wearing lei in downtown Honolulu. Over time, more and more people began to wear lei on May 1, and thus began the tradition of “May Day is Lei Day in Hawai‘i.” The first lei Queen, Miss Nina Bowman, was crowned by Honolulu Mayor Charles Arnold in 1928. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, when large, in-person events were restricted, our island community found innovative ways to celebrate this uniquely Hawaiian holiday. This included a
video presentation to mark Lei Day in 2021, and the Nā Lei Koa in 2020 to honor our first responders.

For more information about the Lei Court Selection, Lei Day Celebration, and an amazing historical write-up of the history of Lei Day in Hawai‘i visit

Mahalo nui loa to our amazing sponsors: Hula Grill Waikīkī, Handcrafters and Artisans Alliance, Friends of Honolulu Parks and Recreation, Salon (808), Allen Media Group, Hawai‘i News Now, KITV 4, and Hawaiian Music Live.

If you need an auxiliary aid/service, other accommodations due to a disability, or an interpreter for a language other than English in reference to this announcement, please contact the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation at (808) 768-3003 on weekdays from 7:45 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. or email

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