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Aloha Festivals Waikiki Hoolaulea

By Caroline Wright

The Aloha Festivals are known internationally as a celebration of the traditions and customs of Hawaii's unique, diverse islands. Each is known and beloved for its own very special attractions and delights.

The crown jewel of the Aloha Festivals is

the Waikiki Hoolaulea, an enormous street party under the stars along Waikiki's oceanfront promenade, Kalakaua Avenue. Featuring some of the island's finest music and dance, the party begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 17, 2011, with the arrival of the Alii, the Aloha Festivals' Royal Court. The ceremony is dramatic, dignified, and unforgettable for those who witness it. Over the next few hours, thousands will thrill to authentic island sounds, dance, crafts and foods at a festival that encompasses 4 stages and 12 city blocks.

The Hoolaulea has been known for a stellar lineup of some of Hawaii's very best music and hula for 59 years. As this year's event coordinators work to finalize the schedule, they'll find it hard to top the 2010 bill, which included island favorites like Kapena, Teresa Bright, the Makaha Sons, Ten Feet, Kelly DeLima and Ohana, the Ka`ala Boys, Kawika Trask, Kupaoa, and an electrifying concert by songstress Sistah Robi Kahakalau and guitarist/vocalist Jeff Rasmussen. However, the 2011 festival theme is Island Music, so this will likely be a very special year for the Hoolaulea.

A few things worth mentioning for the 2011 event: The Royal Hawaiian Center will host a Beer Garden, with tables and chairs for thirsty revelers. Hawaiian-made crafts will be available, and last year's festival-goers enjoyed local treats like Kalua pig, teriyaki chicken, lau lau, and chicken long rice from some of the islands' favorite restaurants and mobile vendors. Very young children might find it all a little intimidating, but the Hoolaulea is an annual tradition for many families, according to event spokesperson Nicole Fuertes.

"There are food and craft vendors, and a lot of hula halaus perform, so local families come to support them," Fuertes says. "All of the Aloha Festivals events beautifully illustrate Hawaii, and what its culture and traditions are all about."

This longstanding, much-loved event is a perfect welcome to the island community, a chance to meet and befriend the people who live here. Come and say "aloha"!

Aloha Festivals Waikiki Hoolaulea

Date:  September 17, 2011, 7:00-10:00 p.m.

Location: Kalakaua Avenue between Lewers Street and Kapahulu Avenue

Cost: Free


Hot Tip:  Bring mats or folding chairs to sit on (event is generally SRO); park at the Honolulu Zoo or Royal Hawaiian Center and walk to Kalakaua


Robi & Jeff:

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