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78th Na Hula Festival
August 4, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - August 5, 2019 @ 12:00 am HST| Free
The Annual Nā Hula Festival is on Sunday, August 4th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is held at Kapi‘olani Park, Honolulu’s oldest and largest public park. Since 1940, the City and County of Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) has celebrated the artistry and grace of hula, Hawaiʻi’s premier dance form.
The festival is Hawai‘i’s longest running annual non-competitive hula event. The event was started by Violet “Aunty Lei” Collins and Alice Kalahui, both leading ladies in the City’s Music and Dance Section to showcase the kumu hula (teachers) and haumāna (students) from DPR. Nā kumu hula and sisters, Leilani and Puanani Alama have participated in Nā Hula since its inception. Both participated initially as students. Just three years later at the age of 18, Aunty Leilani brought her studio to Nā Hula. Aunty Puanani brought her studio in 1954. They and their haumāna have participated every year since, until the passing of Aunty Leilani in 2014. Aunty Puanani continues their ‘ohana’s legacy. Everyone is encouraged to bring their hāli‘i (covering, spread), mea ‘ai (food), and enjoy a beautiful relaxing day of hula at the park. Admission is free. Kapi‘olani Park was dedicated on June 11, 1877 by King Kalākaua. He called it the “first public park of the Kingdom,” and named it in honor of his queen, Kapi‘olani.
Other notable hula events in Hawaii
• Merrie Monarch Hula Festival (a competitive event), which began in 1964.
• King Kamehameha Day Chant and Hula Competition (a competitive event), which began in 1974.
• Queen Liliuokalani Keiki Hula Competition (a competitive event), which began in 1976.
• Prince Lot Hula Festival (a noncompetitive event), which began in 1978.
Photo courtesy of Peter Liu Photography via flickr.
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