La‘i‘ōpua 2020 Celebrates Birthday of Double-Hulled Canoe

June 19, 2022, 12:00 PM HST
* Updated June 19, 10:55 AM
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A West Hawai‘i organization invites the public to celebrate the birthday of its newest ocean-voyaging addition.

La‘i‘ōpua 2020 is saying happy birthday to its double-hulled sailing canoe, La‘i‘ōpua, with an afternoon of cultural activities and a talk-story session from 1:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday, June 25, at the organization’s Kona location at 74-5210 Keanalehu Drive.

The event is free and open to the public; beach chairs and coolers are welcome.

Cultural crafts will be demonstrated and shared with participants from 1:30-3 p.m., followed by a talk story from 3:30-4:30 p.m. focused on voyaging canoes and navigating by the stars with pwo/master navigator Chadd “‘Ōnohi” Paishon and cultural specialist Pomai Bertelmann. The talk-story session will be hosted by Hawai‘i County Councilman Holeka Inaba.

There also will be food available. Chicken long rice bowls will be served.


Builders of La‘i‘ōpua, including captains Rusty Kainoa Oppenheimer and Khelsea U‘i Malakaua, will also be on hand to showcase the canoe, which was constructed to provide learning opportunities centered on canoe building, voyaging and community involvement.


“Set on Department of Hawaiian Home Lands land, in the ‘piko’ of the Kealakehe Ahupua‘a, La‘i‘ōpua 2020 brings together our Kona community for collaboration, inspiration and knowledge sharing,” the organization’s website says. “The spiritual and cultural values that are inherent in the land and the people of Hawai‘i are at the core of all that we do. We envision a vital West Hawai‘i community, where local families lead the way. Together, we can thrive.”

For more information, click here.

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