Hōkūleʻa Greeted by Thousands in New York City
After years of preparation, the Polynesian voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻa arrived in New York City on Sunday.
The Hōkūleʻa is on a worldwide voyage that began more than two years ago and is in New York to ring in World Oceans Day on Wednesday. The voyage is scheduled to conclude in June 2017.
The voyagers were welcomed by thousands of New York residents and a delegation of Hawaiʻi leaders, educators, students and supporters. Dignitaries included three county mayors and Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority President and CEO George Szigeti.
A traditional Hawaiian aha awa ceremony, was held by Hui Kīpaepae of New York with various hula hālau from New York and Hawaiʻi celebrating the historic occasion.
“There is something special that this canoe carries on behalf of our home that I think this world not only respects, but needs,” said Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society. “This day of celebration is really the step we need to give us strength to go to the United Nations on behalf of all of the people who are doing their part to be responsible for our island home called Earth.”
On World Oceans Day on June 8, a series of events with the United Nations will include a ceremonial presentation of ocean protection declarations by Thompson to Secretary General Ban-ki Moon. The canoe’s arrival at Manhattan’s North Cove Marina – the doorstep of the 9/11 Memorial, New York’s financial business district – marks the pinnacle point of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines.
- Monday, June 6: Mālama Honua Education & Environment Summit at Governors Island
- Tuesday, June 7: Presentation by master navigator Kalepa Baybayan on behalf of Imiloa Astronomy Center at Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History
- Wednesday, June 8: World Oceans Day
- Thursday, June 9: Hōkūleʻa Storytellers Evening at Patagonia New York SoHo
- Saturday, June 11: Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge