April 16, 2009 – Hilo, Hawaii
VIDEO: Dave Corrigan
Thousands stood in line at the Edith Kanaka’ole Multipurpose Stadium in Hilo to attend the biggest free event of the Merrie Monarch Festival. Many secured thier place in line early in the day in order to get the first come first serve tickets for the Ho’ike.
The Merrie Monarch Ho`ike is a mix of hula and dances from around the Pacific Rim.
This year’s lineup: Halau O Kekuhi, Tupulaga o Samoa mo a Taeao and New Zealand’s Nga Uri O Te Whanoa.
Peter Sur with the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported earlier in the week that The Academy of Hawaiian Arts, led by renegade kumu hula Mark Keali’i Hoomalu, was supposed to perform in this year’s Ho`ike but pulled out. As a result, the three remaining groups were asked to stretch their performances to an hour each.
Over the course of the next three evenings, events at the Merrie Monarch festival will be covered exclusively by local KITV.