HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - As the countdown to the Merrie Monarch Festival continues, organizers recently released this year’s list of participating halau and judges.
Taking a look at the lists, Kumu Hula Robert Cazimero and Halau na Kamalei O Lililehua are returning to the annual event.
Kumu Hula Mark Kealii Hoomalu is returning from Oakland.
First-time participants Halau Hula Ke Olu Makani O Mauna Loa under the direction of Kumu Hula Meleana Manuel will be in Hilo.
Kumu Hula Leinaala Pavao Jardin’s Halau Ka Lei Mokihana O Leinaala will bring their men for the first time. Their women, who have a record of a strong finishing at the festival, will compete as well.
In the soloists category, 11 halau will send their Miss Aloha Hula contestants to compete.
The 57th annual Merrie Monarch Festival takes place April 12 through 18 in Hilo at the Edith Kanakaole Stadium. The festivities begin on the 12th with a ho’olaule’a and craft fairs. Nights of competition, which will be broadcast live on K5, go from April 16 until April 18.
The Super Bowl of hula is always following Easter Sunday and is already sold out.