(UPDATE) – Video recorded during the event (above) shows the entrance of the Royal Order, the presentation of hoʻokupu, and the mass hula performed by multiple halau in the gardens. The event was emceed by Skylark Rossetti and Kuʻehu Mauga.
(ORIGINAL STORY) – The 2017 Queen Lili’uokalani Festival takes place today – Saturday, September 9 – in Hilo.
The County of Hawaii issued this media release in advance of the event:
The He Hali’a Aloha no Lili’uokalani Festival, Queen’s Birthday Celebration, will take place on Saturday, September 9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Lili’uokalani Gardens Park in Hilo.
This year’s Festival to honor Hawai’i’s last reigning monarch is being held in conjunction with the Centennial Celebration of Lili’uokalani Gardens, and is being coordinated and sponsored in part by the Friends of Lili’uokalani Gardens.
The day-long festival includes music, hula, arts, crafts, food, demonstrations, children’s games and cultural activities.
Entertainment will include Darlene Ahuna, Taishoji Taiko, Komakakino with Halau Ha’akea a Kala, the Waiākea Ukulele Band, Tahitian by Merahi Productions, with the finale featuring Mark Yamanaka, recipient of multiple Na Hoku Hanohano Awards.
Hula is the major focus of the Festival and each year, festivities are kicked off with a mass hula featuring more than 250 hula dancers throughout the Park performing a traditional mele.
Dancers from throughout the State will dance together, symbolizing the Queen’s vision of sharing Hawai’ian culture with the rest of the world. During this performance, more than 50,000 orchid blossoms will rain from the skies above the park.
Activities include Japanese Tea Ceremony, a Jumping Castle and Water slide, Coconut Weaving, Hawai’ian Printing & Stamp Pads, Hawai’ian Herbs, Hawai’ian crafts, and children’s coloring activities designed to provide historical information about the garden.
Community and educational organizations will be on hand to offer information on available services for families on Hawai‘i Island.
A bountiful variety of local foods will be available for purchase.
Admission to the Festival is free of charge. Additional public parking is available at the Afook Chinen Civic Auditorium and Hawai’i County Mass Transit will be providing free shuttle service from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The County of Hawai’i is proud to partner with the Queen Lili’uokalani Trust, Pacific Radio Group, Hilo Fire Extinguishers, Blue Hawai’ian Helicopters, Grand Naniloa Hotel, KWXX, Honolulu Skylark Productions CJ Promotions, the Hawai’i Tropical Flowers Council and the Friends of Lili’uokalani Gardens to present this cultural experience to residents and visitors.