Halau O Ka Ua Kani Lehua, under the direction of kumu hula Johnny Lum Ho, thrilled a packed crowd at Hilo’s Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium on Easter Sunday during the Merrie Monarch Festival Ho’olaule’a
Video by David Corrigan
HILO – The 2015 Merrie Monarch Festival kicked off on Easter Sunday with its annual Ho’olaule’a. Several hula halau performed for the visitors and locals who packed the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium for the free exhibition.
During Sunday’s event, we filmed Johnny Lum Ho’s Halau O Ka Ua Kani Lehua, a favorite in Hilo.
For the next week, hula aficionados from around the world will be fixated on Hawaii Island, especially when the prestigious three-night competition begins on Thursday.
Starting tomorrow (Monday, April 6th) there will be daily hula performances at two Banyan Drive resorts: noon at the Naniloa Hotel and 1 p.m. at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel.
Starting on Tuesday, the schedule will include Hawaiian entertainment shows / lectures at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, twice daily at 10 a.m. and again at 2:30 p.m.
The events kicks into high gear on Wednesday with the start of the Merrie Monarch Invitational Hawaiian Arts and Crafts Fair at Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily until Saturday). There will also be hula performances at the civic during those days at 11 a.m.
Also on Wednesday, the big Ho’ike will be held at the Edith Kanaka’ole Stadium. The free event is a free exhibition.
The competition begins on Thursday at 6 p.m. with the Miss Aloha Hula Competition at Edith Kanaka‘ole Multipurpose Stadium. On Friday, the competition continues with Group Hula Kahiko Competition (6 p.m.) and culminates on Saturday with the Group ‘Auana Competition (6 p.m.)
Saturday will also be the day for the Royal Parade in downtown Hilo, starting at 10:30 a.m. rain or shine.