A mile-long lei is being presented to Hōkūleʻa and her crew Saturday morning.
The effort was spear-headed by the Maui non-profit Lei of Aloha and supported by volunteers from both Maui and Kauai who hand-wove the 5,280-foot lei from green ti leaves.
The Homecoming ceremony and celebration is the culmination of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage. Hōkūleʻa’s historic return to Hawai‘i will be celebrated at Magic Island, O`ahu with a cultural welcoming ceremony, followed by an all-day grand celebration open to the entire community.
Forty volunteers have traveled to O`ahu to present and drape the lei over the Hōkūleʻa in a gesture of love and aloha and in celebration of the voyaging canoe’s homecoming.
Among the volunteers is Michael Johnson, an Oahu driver for ride sharing service Lyft. Johnson learned that Lei of Aloha was in search of transportation for half a dozen coolers that held the lei and decided he would help.
Lei of Aloha was founded by Ron Panzo, the owner of Nalu’s South Shore Grill in Kihei. The first mile-long lei was made for the loved ones of victims of the terror attacks in Paris in 2015. Another was made in 2016 immediately following the nightclub shooting in Orlando, Fla.