HILO, Hawaii – The traditional mass hula and helicopter flower drop marked the 16th annual He Hali’a Aloha No Lili’uokalani on Saturday in Hilo.
The Queen Lili’uokalani Festival was held at the the queen’s namesake Lili’uokalani Park and Gardens, attracting hundreds to the scenic grounds to enjoy a day of music and hula, and to honor the last monarch of the Hawaiian Kingdom.
Musician Lito Arkangel kicked off the program with a number of songs that were written by the queen, who was an accomplished songwriter.
The royal societies were then invited to present ho’okupu. Lei were ceremoniously draped over a large picture of Lili’uokalani positioned by the performance stage.
Then, various hula halau scattered about the park for a mass hula, directed by the music of Darlene Ahuna, as a Blue Hawaiian helicopter showered the dancers with 50,000 orchid blossoms from high above.
The event celebrates the birthday of Queen Lili’uokalani (September 2, 1838) and pays tribute to the historical significance of the Lili’uokalani Gardens.