Merrie Monarch Festival to be Held as Planned

March 4, 2020, 12:00 PM HST (Updated March 4, 2020, 11:50 AM)
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Hoʻomaikaʻi Hālau Kekuaokalā‘au‘ala‘iliahi. PC: Merrie Monarch Facebook

COVID-19 has sickened tens of thousands, prompted travel restrictions, grounded planes and canceled events, but it shouldn’t impact Hawai‘i Island’s Merrie Monarch Festival this April.

“There are no plans to cancel this year’s festival,” Festival Coordinator Luana Kawelu said amid concerns over the Coronavirus and rumors of a shutdown floating around on social media.

“We will follow the recommendations of the State and Health Department officials,” she continued. “All of the major festival details have been finalized. We are at the stage of finalizing the little details. I am not sure what is going to happen in the future, but as of right now we are moving forward.”

After the postponement of other festivals on O‘ahu like FESTPAC, the Merrie Monarch Festival office has been flooded with phone calls from people inquiring about the status of the Hilo-based tradition.

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“We are vigilant and know the seriousness of this virus,” Kawelo said. “We are not taking this lightly. We don’t want anyone to get sick.”

The Merrie Monarch Festival kicks off on Sunday, April 12, 2020, at 9 a.m. with the day-long, free Ho’olaulea held at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium.

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