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Miss Aloha Hula competition kicks off return of Merrie Monarch Festival

2019 Miss Aloha Hula Competition: Taizha Keakealani Hughes-Kaluhiokalani
2019 Miss Aloha Hula Competition: Taizha Keakealani Hughes-Kaluhiokalani
Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 5:14 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 1, 2021 at 10:14 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A new Miss Aloha Hula was crowned Thursday evening, kicking off the anticipated 2021 Merrie Monarch Hula Festival.

Rosemary Kaʻimilei Keamoai-Strickland, under the direction of kumu hula Tracie and Keawe Lopes, took home this year’s title of Miss Aloha Hula.

She danced as part of the halau Ka Lā ʻŌnohi Mai O Haʻehaʻe.

The competition featured wahine soloists from several halau who competed in kahiko and auana numbers.

Judges chose the winner based on knowledge of language and hula basics in their performances and oli.

Keamoai-Strickland took over the title from Miss Aloha Hula 2019 Taizha Keakealani Hughes-Kaluhiokalani, who held the title for two years due to the festival’s cancellation in 2020.

With her title as 2021 Miss Aloha Hula, Keamoai-Strickland takes on a reign of serving as an ambassador for hula and the Hawaiian culture.

Unlike previous years, the 2021 Merrie Monarch Hula Festival was pre-recorded last week and started broadcasts Thursday night, beginning with the Miss Aloha Hula Competition.

Broadcasts of the festival will continue to air on Friday and Saturday evenings on K5 starting at 6 p.m.

[Want to watch the festival online? Click here.]

Putting on the festival this year required strict COVID protocols unlike ever before, including stringent testing and halau ‘bubbles.’

Although the event may have been pre-recorded, one thing remains a secret: The winners.

Only a select few from the festival know who the winners are, and even the halau will find out who won as it airs during the broadcast.

To see which halau will come up on top for the group kahiko and auana performances, check out the links below.

Here’s the broadcast schedule for Thursday night:

TIME (HST)BROADCASTTV
5pmPop-Up Mākeke: Miss Aloha Hula Night
An online marketplace established to support Hawaii’s small businesses struggling during the pandemic.
K5 & Online
6pm**The 2021 Merrie Monarch Festival: Miss Aloha Hula**
The first night of competition from the 2021 Merrie Monarch Festival.
K5 & Online
10pmHula Is Life: Miss Aloha Hula 1991, 2001 & 2011
Former Miss Aloha Hula winners Kapua Dalire, Natasha Oda and Tori Hulali Canha join McKenna Maduli.
K5 & Online

And here’s how to watch:

  • On cable television: Watch the festival on K5 ― channel 6 if you are a Spectrum, Hawaiian Tel or DirecTV customer, and channel 8 if you are a Dish Network subscriber.
  • On the HNN website: Every minute of the 2021 Merrie Monarch Festival will stream free of charge on HNN’s special Merrie Monarch section. Click here to watch now.
  • On the HNN mobile app: You can also stream the 2021 Merrie Monarch Festival directly to your cell phone, no matter where you are, by using the Hawaii News Now mobile app. You can find more information on how to download the Hawaii News Now mobile app by clicking here.
  • On Roku, Apple TV or Amazon Fire: If you don’t subscribe to cable but still want to watch on your TV, download the HNN app for Roku, Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV devices.

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