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Ho‘ike festival and luau to celebrate Hawaiian culture

By Staff | Nov 10, 2011


LAHAINA – Mauians and visitors who appreciate Hawaiian culture – or just seek a good time – will gather for an all-day celebration at Waiola Church on Wainee Street on Saturday, Nov. 12.

The annual Lahaina Royal Ho’ike will feature music, educational displays, crafts, games and an evening luau featuring performances by many hula troupes.

Kumu Hula Auli’i Mitchell and his alaka’i, Uilani, from Hawaii Island will take part in the luau. The audience will also enjoy hula by Halau Hula Malani O Kapehe, Kealahou Hanalu, Kahaiali’i and Kruger ‘Ohanas, Manu ei Nui and Na Kamali’i O Ke Akua.

Sponsored by the Royal Hawaiian Guard, opening ceremonies will begin at 8:30 a.m. and include a Ho’okupu (special protocol) Ceremony to celebrate Lahaina’s royal legacy and the 175th birthday of King Kalakaua, the last Hawaiian king known as the “Merrie Monarch.”

The festivities will be joined by the Royal Order of Kamehameha arrayed in Hawaiian attire; a group known as the Salazar ‘Ohana, descendants of the House of Kawananakoa in succession of the Kalakaua Dynasty; as well as leading halau.

Led by Kalapana Kollars of Friends of Moku‘ula, a tour group visits the grounds of historic Waiola Church, which was established in the early 1800s during the reign of King Kamehameha the Great. Photo by Norm Bezane.

The event centered at the tomb of Hawaiian royalty and on the large lawn surrounding the historic church will also honor Sacred High Chiefess Keopuolani.

“It will be a don’t-miss happening,” according to Paulo Faleafine, executive director of the Royal Hawaiian Guard.

Featuring community entertainment, music, hula, artists, crafts, games and displays, a ho’olaule’a (festival) and silent auction is set for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the 535 Wainee St. church’s grounds. The day’s events are free.

The lu’au and ho’ike will conclude the day from 5 to 8 p.m. Selling for $45 per person or $400 for a table of ten, ho’ike tickets are available by visiting www.royalhawaiianguard.com or calling (808) 250-9196.

The theme for the ho’ike is “175 Years of His Majesty’s Aloha” with emphasis on the birthday of King Kalakaua.

One of the most enlightened kings, Kalakaua spent his first few years in Lahaina living in what was then the royal compound at Moku’ula.

The king’s achievements include reviving hula, building ‘Iolani Palace and acquainting the kings and queens of Europe with the Hawaiian nation through his extensive travels.

“Since the Hawaiian Guard has zero budget, any leftover proceeds of the luau after covering costs will be used to support the ceremonial and cultural learning activities of the two-year-old group,” Faleafine said.

For information, contact Faleafine at (808) 250-9196 or visit www.royalhawaiianguard.com.