The He Hali‘a Aloha No Lili‘uokalani Festival, Queen’s Birthday Celebration, has been set for 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday in Hilo’s Lili‘uokalani Gardens Park.
The festival celebrates the queen’s birthday and pays tribute to the historical significance of the Lili‘uokalani Gardens.
The daylong festival includes music, hula, arts, crafts, food, demonstrations, children’s games and cultural activities. Entertainment throughout the day will include Darlene Ahuna, Kukulu Kumuhana, Taishoji Taiko, Komakakino with Halau Ha‘akea A Kala, the Waiakea Ukulele Band, Lito Archangel and the Keawe Trio + one.
Hula is the major focus of the festival and each year festivities are kicked off with a mass hula featuring more than 400 hula dancers scattered throughout the park performing “E Lili‘u E,” “Hilo My Home Town,” and the Aloha Week Hula.
Dancers from throughout the state dance together, symbolizing the queen’s vision to share the Hawaiian culture with the rest of the world. During this performance, more than 50,000 orchid blossoms rain from the skies above the park.
In celebration of the 15th annual Queen Lili‘uokalani Festival, four people who have made significant contributions to the festival are being honored.
Through their generous contributions of time and knowledge, these individuals are an inspiration and it is with great pride and honor that this year’s festival is dedicated to Aunty Kuulei Badua, Aunty Lucille Chung, kumu hula Iwalani Kalima and Skylark Rosetti. All four are considered outstanding in their own right and have served the festival’s coordinating committee for many years.
Through their efforts, the festival has continued to grow and thrive. Their service is truly appreciated.
Other special activities and demonstrations will include a Japanese Tea Ceremony, a jumping castle and water slide, nose flute making, coconut weaving, Hawaiian printing and stamp pads, Portuguese horse shoe, Konani game, Hawaiian herbs and Lomi Lomi.
A bountiful variety of local foods will be available for purchase.
Gourmet hot dogs, sandwiches, all kinds of mouth-watering plate lunches, baked goods, shave ice, popcorn, cotton candy, smoothies and floats will be available during the festival.
The menu definitely will offer some “ono-licious” specialties for everyone.
A craft fair offering unique one-of-a-kind creations will be offered for sale and the event will showcase community and educational booths that will offer information for families.
Admission to the festival is free. Additional public parking is available at the Afook Chinen Civic Auditorium and Hawaii County Mass Transit will be providing free shuttle service from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
The County of Hawaii is partnering with the Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center, Pacific Radio Group, Hilo Fire Extinguishers, Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, Hilo Naniloa Hotel, KWXX, Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, Honolulu Skylark Productions and the Hawaii Tropical Flowers Council to present this “cultural experience” as a gift to the residents and visitors of Hawaii Island.
The Culture &Education Division of Hawaii County invites all to come and celebrate the birthday of the islands’ last reigning monarch. Come experience the culture, pageantry, history, demonstrations, hands-on activities and the unique blending of the island people.
For more information, call 961-8706.