April 13, 2009 – Hilo, Hawaii
VIDEO: Dave Corrigan
The city of Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii has come down with its annual case of hula fever, as the 49th annual Merrie Monarch Festival kicked off its week long celebration of Hawaiian culture on Sunday.
The Merrie Monarch Ho`olaule`a at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium was free to the public, and featured an exhibition of world class hula.
The video above features a mash up of performances from the Halau O Ka Ua Kani Lehua, kumu Johnny Lum Ho, which thrilled the packed audience in attendance.
The Merrie Monarch festival began forty-six years ago in an attempt to perpetuate, preserve, and promote the art of hula and the Hawaiian culture through education. The festival is considered the world’s premier forum for ancient and modern hula, by people of all ages.
The festival has been sold out for months. Over the next week, hundreds of performers and spectators will arrive in Hilo, and are expected to provide a welcome economic boost for the Big Island.