66th Annual Aloha Festival

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Entering its 66th year as one of Hawai'i's most highly regarded and oldest cultural celebrations, the Aloha Festivals is proud to announce its theme and events for 2012. The celebration throughout September shares the history and traditions of Hawaii and the unique spirit of aloha with both kamaʻâina (local residents) and malihini (visitors). The theme for this year's Oahu celebration is "Ho'onui 'Ike," meaning "to increase knowledge, enrich," whether through formal education, one-on-one mentoring, personal quests or other means.

The "Ho'onui 'Ike" theme also honors the legacy of Ke Ali'i Bernice Pauahi Bishop, great-granddaughter of King Kamehameha I, whose vision emphasizes the commitment to education, productivity and pride in cultural heritage.

"This year, we honor the Hawaiian value of ho'onui 'ike, which encourages people to value knowledge and wisdom in hopes of building a better future," said Paul Tomonari, co-chair of the Aloha Festivals board of directors. "The 2012 Aloha Festivals will explore new avenues to ho'onui 'ike throughout Hawai'i with its cultural events during September."

Each Aloha Festivals event will capture ho'onui 'ike, both perpetuating Island culture and educating all who participate. Please join us in honoring this Hawaiian value with our events.

Following is the schedule of Aloha Festivals events:

All events are free and open to the public. The events are supported by the sale of Aloha Festivals merchandise, which will be sold at all events and at participating retailers.

Thursday, September 6

Aloha Festivals 2012 Royal Court Investiture, 3:00 p.m., Hilton Hawaiian Village - The Ali'i - king, queen, prince and princess - take their place in the royal court. Court members will receive the royal cloak, helmet, head feather lei and other symbols of their reign. Traditional chant and hula kâhiko will highlight the event.

Aloha Festivals Opening Ceremony, 5:00 p.m., Royal Hawaiian Center, Royal Grove - Traditional chant and hula mark the official beginning of the Aloha Festivals events. The Aloha Festivals Royal Court will be introduced on the grounds of Royal Hawaiian Center's Royal Grove.

Saturday, September 8

Annual Keiki Ho'olaule'a, 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., Pearlridge Center Uptown & Downtown (co-related event) - Pearlridge will celebrate Aloha Festivals with a variety of activities, demonstrations and continuous stage performances by participating keiki musical groups and hula hâlau. The 2012 Aloha Festivals Royal Court will make a special appearance. For more information, click HERE!

Saturday, September 15

60th Annual Aloha Festivals Waikîkî Ho'olaule'a, 7:00 p.m., Kalâkaua Avenue between Lewers Street & Kapahulu Avenue - The Annual Waikîkî Ho'olaule'a is Hawai'i's largest block party. Thousands of people will take to the streets along Kalâkaua Avenue for food, fun and entertainment. Top Island entertainers will perform along with hula hâlau while Hawaiian crafts and flower lei will be on display and available for purchase.

Saturday, September 22

66th Annual Aloha Festivals Floral Parade, 9:00 a.m., Kalâkaua Avenue from Ala Moana Park to Kapi'olani Park - A colorful equestrian procession of pâ'û riders, exquisite floats with cascades of Hawaiian flowers, hula hâlau and marching bands will brighten Kalâkaua Avenue. The parade will be livestreamed for free HERE!

Aloha Festivals was first held in 1946 as Aloha Week. Over the past six and a half decades it has become a celebration of Hawaiian culture, integrating the traditions and cultures of the Islands through music, dance, cuisine and art. A board of volunteers coordinates all festivities. Aloha Festivals is funded by the Hawai'i Tourism Authority, corporate and private sponsorships, and sales of Aloha Festivals power bands, ribbons and merchandise.

More information about Aloha Festivals and its events, click HERE or call (808)483-0730.

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