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Founder Brings Tahiti Fete Back to Hilo

June 4, 2014, 11:11 AM HST
* Updated September 8, 6:45 PM
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The pounding drums and gyrating hips of the Tahiti Fete of Hilo returns to Hawaii on Saturday and Sunday, July 26 and 27, after a 6-year layoff.

“The last year we did it in Hilo was 2008 and so many performers and audience members kept asking us to bring it back, I just decided we’d try again,” said Tahiti Fete founder Pua Tokumoto, in a media release.

Tahitian halau and individual performers are invited to sign up for the dance competition for this year’s event to be held at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium, Tokumoto said.

Several halau have already signed up from around Hawaii, the mainland and Mexico with a few inquiries from Japan. “We have fantastic prizes that attract very high quality performers,” she said.

Arts, crafts, food and product vendors are also being sought.


Tokumoto brought the fete to Hilo in 2000 after more than 20 years producing the world’s largest Tahiti Fete in San Jose, Calif. She and husband Dwight Tokumoto, an award-winning steel guitar player, call Hilo their home.


“There is such a wide interest in and connection to Tahitian culture in Hawaii, it was a natural to start a fete here,” she said. “Actually, Tahitian culture is global and since we started the Hilo fete, we established a smaller No Te Here i Tahiti Mexico in Mexico City that includes workshops on ori (Tahitian dance) and hula” as well as a mini-fete.

For information about being a sponsor, a vendor or to participate in the Tahiti Fete of Hilo dance competition, call Tokumoto at 935-3002, or visit www.tahitifete.com.

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