Young hula dancer prepares to perform at festival honoring memory of queen

Video by David Corrigan, Voice of Stephanie Salazar

HILO, Hawaii:  The birthday of Hawaii’s beloved queen was celebrated in Hilo on Saturday, here at the scenic bayside Queen Liliuokalani Gardens park, named in her honor.

Program Coordinator Skylark Rosetti and Penny Vredenburg served as emcees for the annual “He Hali’a Aloha No Lili’uokalani” festival.

As always, the children of Kukulu Kumuhana O Puna kicked things off with this performance.

After that, commenced the Ho’okupu ceremony, as members of the Queen Liliuokalani Trust, Royal Order of Kamehameha, Kaahumanu Society, Hale O Na Ali’i, and various halau presented lovingly crafted lei to adorn the protrait of Hawaii’s last ruling monarch.

Then, there was an opening pule by Aunty Lucille Chung, followed by Queen Liliuokalani Trustee Dr. Claire Asam was a guest speaker during the festival.

Then, Darlene Ahuna led the dozen or more halau in a mass hula. First, a hula kahiko entitled “E Lili’u E”… and then, with a Blue Hawaiian Helicopter o overhead, the more modern “Hilo Hula”… during which a floral rain covered parts of the scenic park. Of course, over the years the feature Flower Drop has rarely hit its mark exactly as planned… but it certainly enhances the background for the homage to the queen.

The County of Hawaii Department of Parks and Recreation teamed up with various groups to host the annual festival.