Inaugural Waikoloa Lei Day Festival Scheduled at Resort, Kings’ Shops, Queens’ Marketplace

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The public is invited to learn and celebrate the art of lei-making during the inaugural Waikoloa Lei Day Festival.

The free event will take place on Sunday, May 1, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort, Kings’ Shops and Queens’ Marketplace. Lei-making workshops will be offered at all three locations.

Keiki activities, live music, hula performances and sidewalk sales will be set up at Kings’ Shops and Queens’ Marketplace, and a live radio broadcast at Queen’s Marketplace. At the resort, there will be a lei contest and craft fair.

Each site hosting the inaugural Waikoloa Lei Day Festival offers special attractions. The events at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa will be 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.


Four lei-making workshops will be offered focusing on the the history and technique of the haku lei, or braided lei, and the wili lei, or wound lei. Two workshops, one on each type of lei, will be held at 10-11 a.m. and again 1-2 p.m. They are open to resort guests and members of the public.

A lei contest will begin at 9 a.m. with winners being announced at noon. Lei Contest categories are Wili; Haku; People’s Choice; and Open.

All are welcome to attend the workshops, vote for their favorite lei and visit craft vendors set up on the resort’s Aka‘ula Lanai, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Proceeds from workshop registrations, contest entries and vendor fees will benefit the Visitor Industry Charity Walk.


Festivities at Kings’ Shops will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Kings’ Shops will celebrate Lei Day with free lei-making classes, including candy lei making for children.

A hula show is also scheduled. Merchants will offer sidewalk sales and specials throughout the celebration, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Festivities at Queens’ Marketplace will take place from 2-7 p.m., where free lei-making workshop, demonstrations, activities for keiki will be offered. There will also be live music, hula performances, live radio broadcast, and a special merchant sidewalk sale,

The lei-making workshops will be held on a first-come, first-served basis, 2-5:30 p.m. Visitors can make lei of crown flower, ti leaf in the maile style, plumeria lei, or mixed blossom lei. The crown flower or pua kalaunu lei is particularly appropriate for the event at Queen’s Marketplace, as this flower, a favorite of Queen Liliu‘okalani, is the center’s new logo.


Visitors can also learn to make a lei bracelet in both haku and wili style. The workshops are being hosted by two female owned local florists.

Keiki can learn to make lei too and have their face painted with native floral designs. A haku lei-making demonstration will be hosted by members of Halau O Po‘ohala.

As merchants spill out of their storefronts with a sidewalk sale, radio station KWXX will broadcast live, in between performances by Maka Gallinger, Hui Ho‘okani and a hula performance by Miss Aloha Hawaii and Miss Kona Coffee.

The festival ends with a special hula show by Halau O Po‘ohala, 6-7 p.m. For more information, visit

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