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Festival to feature three days of hula

By Staff | Aug 11, 2016

Dancers of all ages will honor renowned Kumu Hula “Aunty Emma” at the Emma Farden Sharpe Hula Festival. PHOTOS BY HIDEHARU YOSHIKAWA.

LAHAINA – Enjoy three days of hula in Lahaina during the Emma Farden Sharpe Hula Festival on Aug. 12-14.

Renowned Kumu Hula “Aunty Emma” made it her mission to perpetuate hula and Hawaiian culture, so she created the Emma Farden Sharpe Hula Festival that started in conjunction with Na Mele O Maui, a choir contest among Maui County schools that continues today.

The event will honor Sharpe through a celebration of hula – auana (new) and kahiko (old) – free keiki activities, workshops, artisans and a Lifetime Achievement Award dedicated to a pillar in the hula community.

The weekend will kick off at Lahaina’s Second Friday Town Party from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at Campbell Park, featuring hula and Hawaiian music by Maui Jam and Ke Kani Malie with Kaniala Masoe.

The opening ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 13, will begin at 9 a.m. under the Lahaina Banyan Tree with Aunty Emma’s halau, Na Pua O Kapi’olani Hula Studio, now under the direction of her grand niece, Kathy Holoaumoku Ralar.

The weekend’s featured halau hula and kumu hula include the Lahaina Honolua Senior Citizens Club; Ka Pa Hula O Maui (Kumu Hula Doll Aricayos); Pukalani Hula Hale (Hi’ilei Maxwell-Juan); Halau O Nakaulakuhikuhi (Kaui Kanakaole); Halau Ke Ala Ka Hinano O Puna (Joy Salvador); Napili Kai Foundation (K. Holoaumoku Ralar); and Na Pua Melia (Kalei Samonte).

At 10 a.m. on Saturday under the Banyan Tree, an award ceremony will honor kumu for their dedication to hula. At 1 p.m., members of the Farden family will perform.

Other festival highlights include a free hula workshop on Saturday, Aug. 13, at 11:30 a.m. in the Pioneer Inn Courtyard with Kumu Hula K. Holoaumoku Ralar, and free ukulele workshops on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Reserve your workshop space by calling (808) 281-7176; space is limited.

Event sponsors include the County of Maui, Lahaina Hawaiian Civic Club, LahainaTown Action Committee, Best Western Pioneer Inn, Daryl Fujiwara-Smythe Fujiwara Design, Na Pua O Kapi’olani Hula Studio, Kathy Holoaumoku Ralar and ‘Ohana Farden.

For more information on the festival, go to www.visitlahaina.com.