Annual Prince Lot Hula Festival at Moanalua Gardens will feature - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Annual Prince Lot Hula Festival at Moanalua Gardens will feature 20 hula halau

(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

"Mo`olelo O Moanalua…Stories of Moanalua", the 39th Annual Prince Lot Hula Festival will be taking place on Saturday, July 16, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, July 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and will showcase twenty of Hawai`i’s finest halau hula (hula groups) over the festival weekend.

The largest non-competitive hula exhibition in Hawai‘i, the festival is held at spectacular Moanalua Gardens each year to honor Prince Lot Kapuaiwa, who reprised the once forbidden hula in the district of Moanalua.  It is presented by Moanalua Gardens Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and perpetuating Hawaii’s native culture and natural resources.   

Festival highlights include a stunning ho`ike (program) honoring 2016 Malia Kau Award recipients Kumu Hula Coline Aiu and Kimo Keaulana on Saturday at 9:15 am. Also, Na Hoku Hanohano award-winning vocalists Kuana Torres Kahele and Raiatea Helm will be participating as special guests.  Kuana will be signing CDs and his Make Lei DVDs, and will preview his Kuana elegant culture line of Ni`ihau shells and 14k gold jewelry.  He will be at The Mountain Apple Company booth beginning at 10 am on both Saturday and Sunday. 

Raiatea will headline the Opening Ceremony on Sunday, July 17 at 10 am and will sign her CDs, including her newest release "He Leo Huali", at the booth following her concert.

Other highlights include noon concerts by the Royal Hawaiian Band on both Saturday and Sunday, a Hawaiian-themed craft fair featuring over 35 local crafters, demonstrations of traditional Hawaiian arts by noted cultural practitioners, including lauhala weaving, kapa making, ipu making, feather lei making, ukulele making and more.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is sponsoring poi pounding demonstrations with sampling from 10 am to 2 pm on Saturday and Sunday and Ulu Maika, a rock rolling sport similar to lawn bowling, on Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm.  Food vendors will offer a variety of mouth-watering local specialties featuring Hawaiian plates, shave ice, poi mochi and other island favorites.

There is no charge to attend the festival, however, a button donation to MGF is requested to raise funds to support the event. Limited edition tee shirts and a souvenir poster will be on sale.  Proceeds from these merchandise sales will help cover the costs of the festival.

The public, and visitors, are welcome to bring their low beach chairs and mats and enjoy the fun, food and festivities under the shady monkeypod trees of Moanalua Gardens.  No commercial photography is allowed.

An historic and cultural treasure, Moanalua Gardens is one of the most beautiful places in Honolulu on the island of O`ahu.  Once a botanical garden, it is home to legendary structures and rare trees, including the famous “Hitachi” tree.

Festival sponsors and supporters include the Hawaii Tourism Authority, State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the Mayor’s Office of Culture and the Arts, Hawaiian Airlines, The Queen’s Medical Center, Matson Navigation, Royal Hawaiian Center, Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau, O‘ahu Visitors Bureau, the Honolulu Star Advertiser, MidWeek, ‘Olelo Community Media, Pasha Hawaii, Solar City, First Hawaiian Bank and others.

Named in memory of Prince Lot, who later reigned as King Kamehameha V, the festival was founded in 1977 by MGF and now attracts up to 15,000 residents and visitors each year.  Moanalua was a favorite recreation spot for Prince Lot, who helped revive the hula at his gatherings in the district of Moanalua.  His summer cottage can be found on the gardens’ grounds.

For more information about about the festival and MGF, please visit www.moanaluagardensfoundation.org  or call 808.839.5334.

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