Queen Lili’uokalani Festival Brings Hula and Mele Sept. 9

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Queen Liliuokalani Gardens. Photo: Denise Laitinen.

The community is invited to celebrate Hawai‘i’s last reigning monarch during the 2017 Queen Lili’uokalani Festival on Saturday, Sept. 9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Lili’uokalani Gardens Park in Hilo.

Formally known as the He Hali’a Aloha no Lili’uokalani Festival, the festival will celebrate the queen’s birthday in conjunction with the centennial of Lili’uokalani Gardens.

The festival will include music, hula, arts, crafts, food, demonstrations, children’s games and cultural activities at the iconic park on Hilo Bay. The celebration will begin with a mass hula performance of more than 250 dancers performing a traditional mele accompanied by an orchid shower of more than 50,000 flowers.


The lineup of live entertainment will include Darlene Ahuna, Taishoji Taiko, Komakakino with Halau Ha’akea a Kala, the Waiākea Ukulele Band, Tahitian by Merahi Productions, with a finale with Mark Yamanaka, recipient of multiple Na Hoku Hanohano Awards.

Activities will include Japanese tea ceremonies, coconut weaving, Hawaiian printing and stamp pads, Hawaiian herbs and crafts, and children’s coloring activities. There will also be a bouncing castle and water slide.

Community and educational organizations will attend to offer information on family services on Hawai‘i Island. A variety of local foods will be available for purchase.


Admission to the festival is free. Additional parking will be available at the Afook Chinen Civic Auditorium. Hawai‘i County will provide free shuttle services between the civic area and Lili‘uokalani Park from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The County of Hawai’i has partnered with the Queen Lili’uokalani Trust, Pacific Radio Group, Hilo Fire Extinguishers, Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, Grand Naniloa Hotel, KWXX, Honolulu Skylark Productions, CJ Promotions, the Hawai’i Tropical Flowers Council and the Friends of Lili’uokalani Gardens to present the cultural experience to residents and visitors alike.

For more information, call the Department of Parks and Recreation’s Culture and Education Section at (808) 961-8706.

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