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NPS: Ho‘oku‘ikahi Establishment Day Canceled

August 11, 2015, 12:28 PM HST
* Updated August 11, 12:31 PM
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As Hurricane Hilda heads towards the Big Island, officials at the Pu‘ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site have confirmed that the 43rd annual Ho‘oku‘ikahi Establishment Day Hawaiian Cultural Festival will be canceled.

Those cancelation of the Aug. 15 and 16 event precedes the impending storm and follows the closure of the historic site following a Kawaihae brush fire that burned the area over the weekend.

National Park Service archeologists are currently conducting surveys to assess potential damage to cultural sites after the brush fire burned 90 percent of the vegetation on the park’s 80 acres. The evaluations will be conducted through Wednesday and the site will remained closed through Thursday.

The extra day of closure is in preparation of Hurricane Hilda. Superintendent Daniel Kawaiaea said the park will be reassessed on Friday, and at that point, it will be determined whether or not the park will open for the weekend.

Park officials say that there will not be a rescheduled date set for the 43rd annual Ho‘oku‘ikahi Establishment Day Hawaiian Cultural Festival. The 2016 event will be held on Aug. 13 and 14, 2016. Next year, the 225th anniversary of the completion of the heiau will be marked, as well as the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service.

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“We regret the inconvenience of having to close temporarily and for having to cancel the festival that so many enjoy,” said Superintendent Kawaiaea. “As always, our priority is the safety of park staff, our visitors, and the practitioners.”

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