Merrie Monarch Festival hula competition starts tonight
HILO — Thousands descended Wednesday upon the Edith Kanaka‘ole Multi-Purpose Stadium for the Merrie Monarch Festival Ho‘ike, a free exhibition of hula and cultural dance from around the Pacific Basin.
Hilo’s own Halau O Kekuhi, under the direction of kumu hula Nalani Kanaka‘ole, celebrated its 20th anniversary of Ho‘ike performances with a hula honoring Hi‘iakaikapoliopele, focusing on her travels through Kohala.
The three-night Merrie Monarch Festival hula competition starts tonight with 10 young women vying for hula’s most prestigious title for a solo dancer, Miss Aloha Hula. The group hula kahiko (ancient hula) competition is Friday night and the group hula ‘auana (modern hula) competition is Saturday night.
Festivities begin at 6 p.m. each day with the entrance of the Merrie Monarch’s Royal Court.
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