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Makaha Sons to help launch 2011 Festivals of Aloha

By Staff | Aug 18, 2011

On Sept. 10, the Richard Ho‘opi‘i Falsetto Contest is set for 6 to 10 p.m. in the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua’s Salon Ballroom.

With the theme “E Hi’ipoi i Ka Lei Aloha, Cherished is the beloved child,” the 2011 Festivals of Aloha, Maui Nui Style will kick off on Sept. 2 at the Wailuku First Friday celebration.

Festivals of Aloha events are slated throughout Maui County in September and October, including the tenth annual Richard Ho’opi’i Falsetto Contest in Kapalua on Sept. 10 and the Festivals of Aloha Ho’olaule’a in Banyan Tree Park in Lahaina on Sept. 11.

The annual festival honors and celebrates Hawaiian heritage. Hula instructor Kaponoai Molitau chose Maui Nui’s theme with the island’s future generations in mind.

“It beckons all of us that are kupuna (elders) and makua (adults) to continue to set fundamental values which our children can look upon and learn. We have been given the task to malama, or care for, in every sense of the word our next generation of children that are raised on this beautiful Maui Nui.  

“Our responsibilities are great but are taken one day at a time, and in time our continued commitment to our cherished, beloved children will showcase themselves for the generations to come. Let all of us that live within Maui Nui do our part to set the course of our young minds, bodies and hearts for all of Maui to be proud of.

The rich harmonies of one of Hawaii’s premier music groups will fill the air in historic Wailuku on Sept. 2, as the Makaha Sons officially kick off the 2011 Festivals of Aloha season at First Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. on Market Street.

The award-winning group — with Louis “Moon” Kauakahi on six-string guitar, John Koko on upright acoustic bass and Jerome Koko on 12-string guitar — will take center stage at 7:30 p.m.

The event’s honorary chair, County Councilman Danny Mateo, and Molitau will host the festivities.

Also slated to perform are Hawaiian falsetto singer Ikaika Blackburn, Joel Katz on Hawaiian steel guitar, jazz pianist Gene Argel and his ‘Ohana, High Rise and Dejavu.

This special First Friday celebration will also feature live entertainment up and down the street, hula, food, arts and crafts.

On Friday, Sept. 9, the 2011 Festivals of Aloha, Maui Nui Style continues with keiki entertainment, cultural projects and educational demonstrations at Maui Mall in Kahului from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

On Sept. 10, the Richard Ho’opi’i Falsetto Contest is set for 6 to 10 p.m. in the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua’s Salon Ballroom. Na Palapalai will perform at the event, where emerging falsetto singers compete for prizes. A Festivals of Aloha Ribbon is needed for admission.

Falsetto contest winners will perform the next day at the Festivals of Aloha Ho’olaule’a in Banyan Tree Park from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The fete will also feature crafters and artisans. For information, contact Darryl Fujiwara at 264-8779.

Festivals of Aloha, Maui Nui Style also includes events on Lanai on Sept. 23-25, Molokai on Oct. 13-15 and Hana from Oct. 15-22. For a full schedule of events, go to www.festivalsofaloha.com.

For overall event information, contact Yuki Lei Sugimura at 878-1888 or YukiLei.Sugimura@gmail.com.