King Kalākaua replica medals stolen during break-in at Merrie Monarch Festival office
June 19, 2023, 1:36 PM HST
* Updated June 19, 2:36 PM
The Merrie Monarch Festival office in Hilo was broke into sometime Sunday night, with several items stolen, including replicas of King David Kalākaua medals.
The Kawelu family, who runs the annual festival, said they met Monday morning with police. An investigation is underway.
A festival volunteer discovered things out of place at the office on Monday morning. A lap top and a speaker for conference calls also was taken, according to Kathy Kawelu.
She said there was no vandalism to the office, but someone rummaging through desks.
According to police, the items stolen, including the 12 medals, are valued at $2,700. The family is cleaning up the mess left behind and continuing to assess the extent of the damages.
The Merrie Monarch Festival is an annual weeklong event in April and considered the premiere hula competition in the world. Every year, someone is chosen to represent King Kalākaua — known as the “Merrie Monarch” — and Queen Kapi‘olani as part of the Royal Court.
The precious replica medals are worn each festival by the person selected that year to represent the Merrie Monarch. Kawelu said the medals were gift to the festival in 2021.
“We are sad about it but happy no one was here and no one was hurt,” Kawelu said.
This is a developing story. More information will be provided as it becomes available. Anyone with information about the burglary is asked to call Hawaii Island police at 808-935-3311.
Those with information regarding this crime can also contact Detective John Balberde at [email protected]. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 808-961-8300.