A new governor is being inaugurated today and the festivities are uniquely “Made in Hawaii.” Iolani Palace is decorated with red, white and blue bunting, colored ornaments dot the grounds and chairs are set on the lawn for the ceremonies.

The formal program began at 10:30 with the entrance of the Hawaiian Societies, a colorful ceremony. Spectators were lining up at the gate for the few tickets available to the public long before that. Most seats had already been reserved by today.

Take a look at the rest of the program:

Music by Aaron Mahi and Dennis Kamakahi

111th Army Band

The National Anthem by Willie K

Slam poet Kealoha “A New Day In Hawaii”

Neil Abercrombie takes the oath of office

19-gun salute by 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team

Governor’s address

LDS Tongan Choir performs Beethoven’s “Hallelujah”

Following the formal ceremony this morning, the festivities move to the nearby Capitol lawn and then there is a luau at the Hawaii State Art Museum.

Just from reading the program, you would be able to guess which state is welcoming a new governor. And no matter what your political persuasion, you have to admit this sounds like fun. I have covered gubernatorial inaugurations in other states and they are always celebratory, but often in a political-speechy sort of way. They rarely include as much poetry and music; certainly not this variety!

Hawaii gives an entirely new meaning to the term “political party”.


  1. It really does sound like fun! And WE have the only palace in the US. 🙂
    Wish I could have gone today…but alas work calls and it's a far drive from Makaha!

  2. I was thinking the same thing…. how many other states can pull off such a fun, cultural event for a new governor.
    The music and food are so special here… must have been a great event.

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