East Hawaii News

Merrie Monarch Festival Events: March 27-29

March 26, 2016, 3:42 PM HST
* Updated March 26, 9:29 AM
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52nd Merrie Monarch Hula Festival, Miss Aloha Hula, Jasmine Kaleihiwa Dunlap. Merrie Monarch Festival Facebook photo from 2015.

52nd Merrie Monarch Hula Festival, Miss Aloha Hula, Jasmine Kaleihiwa Dunlap. Merrie Monarch Festival Facebook photo from 2015.

The 53rd Annual Merrie Monarch Festival is about to get underway in Hilo.

Much of the focus is paid to the competition, which is held from Thursday, March 31 to Saturday, April 2. Some of the gems of the festival, however, can be found in the many events held around town throughout the week.

Merrie Monarch week kicks off with a Ho’olaule’a at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium on Sunday, March 27, which will feature numerous performances. The event begins at 9 a.m.

Throughout the week, various performances will be held at the Hilo Naniloa Hotel and the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel. Performances start at 12 p.m. on each weekday at the Naniloa and move over to the Hilo Hawaiian at 1 p.m.

Below you will find a schedule of events for the 53rd Annual Merrie Monarch Festival leading up to Wednesday’s Ho’ike night, which kicks-off the start to hula competition.

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Big Island Now will bring you all the latest on the Merrie Monarch Festival, including schedules for compeitions and events happening later in the week.

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Sunday, March 27 – Ho’olaulea, held at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium

9 a.m. – Kīpaepae Welina welcoming ceremony by the Ha’akumalae Protocols Program of Hawai’i Community College and the University of Hawai’i at Hilo

10:30 a.m. – Hula Hālau Ke ‘Olu Makani O Mauna Loa, under the direction of Meleana Manuel

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11:30 a.m. – Nā Lei Liko O Ola’a, Kimo Kekua

12:30 p.m. – Halau Nā Pua O Uluhaimalama, Emery Aceret

1:30 p.m. – Lori Lei’s Hula Studio & Wai’ohinu Hula Studio, Lori Lei Shirakawa

2:30 p.m. – Hālau Nā Lei Hiwahiwa ‘O Ku’ualoha, Sammye Ku’ualoha Young

3:30 p.m. – Toa Here, Romi Salvador

Monday, March 28

12 p.m. – Performance by Ben Kaili and Band at the Hilo Naniloa Hotel

1 p.m. – Performance by Hālau Hula O Hilo Hanakahi, under the direction of Pua Crumb, at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel

Tuesday, March 29

12 p.m. – Unukupukupu, led by Pele Kaio, Manaiakalani Kalua, Ryan McCormack, and Dr. Taupouri Tangaro, at the Hilo Naniloa Hotel

1 p.m. – Performance by Ke Ola Pono No Nā Kūpuna, under the direction of Haunani Medeiros, at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel

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