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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.

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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.

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“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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