While nothing can quite compare to the experience of attending the shows in person, most Hawaii residents will take in the competitions at this year’s Merrie Monarch Festival through their TV sets.
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Miss Aloha Hula 2014 Entries (in order of stage appearance)
At first glance, this year’s Merrie Monarch Festival king and queen might look a little young for the part.
After last year’s blowout for the Merrie Monarch Festival’s 50th anniversary, organizers of this year’s parade say they’ll be scaling back to a more manageable size.
The eyes of the hula world and the lenses of television cameras will focus upon the three nights of Merrie Monarch Festival hula competition, but for sheer entertainment value, Wednesday night’s Ho‘ike is a show not to be missed.
A popular Hilo hula halau drew a near-capacity crowd to the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium on Easter.
Of the 13 young women vying Thursday night for the title Miss Aloha Hula, one has the opportunity to become the first, and only, third-generation winner of hula’s premier solo wahine honor.
Three halau will represent Hawaii Island at the 51st Annual Merrie Monarch Festival.
Hula is an art in which lineage and legacy are of paramount importance, and both Hilo halau competing in this year’s Merrie Monarch Festival hula competition have impeccable hula pedigrees.
This year marks Halau Hula Lani Ola’s debut in the Merrie Monarch Festival, but kumu hula Puanani Jung’s roots go back to the prestigious hula competition’s beginning and further — back to King David Kalakaua, the Merrie Monarch himself.
Nowhere else will you see so many of the state’s treasured Hawaiian artisans gathered in one place at one time than at the Merrie Monarch Invitational Hawaiian Arts Fair.
To become Miss Aloha Hula requires dedication few possess.
Last year’s Merrie Monarch Festival golden anniversary jubilee was a celebration that would have met with the hearty approval of King David Kalakaua, the festival’s namesake.
SUNDAY, APRIL 20
By JOHN BURNETT and TOM CALLIS