HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Dozens of young and talented hula dancers are busy preparing for the the annual Keiki Hula Competition, which will be broadcast live on KFVE later this month.
The festival, now in its 43rd year, will be held at the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena from July 19 till July 21.
The competition, reserved for kids ages 5 to 12, is often hailed as the Merrie Monarch for keiki, giving them a chance to display their skills in kahiko, auana and soloist competitions.
Many of the young dancers who perform in the Keiki Hula Competition go on to compete on the Merrie Monarch stage in Hilo as adults.
At least five women who held the title of Miss Keiki Hula in the soloist competition went on also clinch the title coveted title of Miss Aloha Hula — an accomplishment a lifetime in the making.
The competition started as a festival to honor Hawaii's last reigning monarch, Queen Liliuokalani. Organized by the Kalihi-Palama Culre & Arts Society, the competition has grown to include three days of performances by youth from halau across the state.
In previous years, the competition was taped and broadcast at a later date. This July marks the first time in recent years keiki will compete live.
The hours of the competition are as follows:
- Thursday, July 19, 6:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
- Friday, July 20, 6:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
- Saturday, July 21, 1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.