Lei Day 50 years ago, 1968.

It all started in 1928

Wear your aloha shirts, muumuus, leis tomorrow

As has been the custom since Grace Tower Warren and Don Blanding began the observance of Lei Day in 1928, aloha shirts, muumuus and leis will be the garb of the day tomorrow.

Throughout the Islands each year on May Day, schools and other institutions present their May programs and lei contests.

The Oahu Lei Contest, sponsored by the Department of Parks and Recreation, will be judged tomorrow and the leis will be on display at the Waikiki Shell from 1 to 9 p.m.

Prizes totaling $650 will be awarded to  lei makers in different categories.

Darlene Bakke, this year’s lei queen, will reign over the festivities including music, hula dancing and pageantry, to be held at the Shell.

A demonstration of kahili making—kahilis were the standard of royalty in Old Hawaii—will be given from 9 to 11 a.m. on the Shell lawn.

Lei-making demonstrations will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. in the seating area, to the tune of strolling musicians.

The Royal Hawaiian Band will open the evening’s entertainment with a concert at 6 p.m. Hula entertainment will begin at 7 p.m. and the queen and her court will enter at 7:30 p.m.

Three hundred members of the International Institute will participate in a May celebration beginning at 10 a.m. at the Institute at 829 Pensacola St. A hobby exhibit, koto recital and singing will be included in the international May Day.

“The Birth of an Island,” a three act dance-drama, will be Farrington High School’s unusual contribution to the Lei day festivities. The program, enveloping drama, comedy, ballet and classical music will be held in the campus auditorium at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow.

In Laie, at the Polynesian Cultural Center, representatives from different Polynesian cultures will present a lei pole dance at 2 p.m., followed by a canoe pageant and court. Leis from various Pacific islands will be displayed and instructions in lei-making given at noon and 4 p.m.

A lei display will be featured at Prince Kuhio Restaurant in Ala Moana Center tomorrow. The leis on display will be made by the employees.

Chaminade College will present a May program at 12:30 p.m. on the St. Louis Heights campus following an 11:30 a.m. Mass to be offered on campus. The program will be held at Hale Kipa, the school’s outdoor theatre.

Some flowers will be in short supply for Lei Day.

“Because of the rain on Maui, most of us will be bringing in carnations from the Mainland for Lei Day,” Mrs. Martina Macalino, vice-president of the Airport Lei Sellers said.

According to Mrs. Macalino, the Airport Lei Sellers did not “get to discussing” special Lei Day prices as they usually do.

But, as in years past, the florist and lei makers will present a variety of flowers, colors and prices ranging from $1 up.

According to Mrs. Macalino, different lei makers will probably offer sale prices.

(Star-Bulletin, 4/30/1968, p. C4)


Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Volume 57, Number 121, Page C-4. April 30, 1968.


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