Hottest Show Opens in Hawaii at the 19th Annual World Fireknife Championships

LAIE - (HawaiiNewsNow) It's the hottest show in the islands. Tomorrow kicks off the 19th Annual World Fireknife Championships in Laie. Ramsay Wharton is checking out the heat, live from the Polynesian Cultural Center this morning to tell us more.

19th Annual World Fireknife Championships
May 11-14, 2011

  • Wednesday, May 117:45 p.m. (Hale Aloha)
    • Preliminary Competition
  • Thursday, May 12 – 7:45 p.m. (Hale Aloha)
    • Junior Pacific Division
    • Semi-Finals
    • Open Group Competition
  • Friday, May 13 – 7:30 p.m. (Pacific Theater)
    • Finals Night One (during intermission of Hâ: Breath of Life night show)
  • Saturday, May 14 (Pacific Theater)
    • 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.  – Samoan Cultural High School Arts Festival
    • 7:30 p.m. – Finals Night Two and Crowning (during intermission of Hâ: Breath of Life night show, awards at 9:00 p.m.)

Polynesian Cultural Center
55-370 Kamehameha Hwy., Lâ'ie, Hawai'i

Admission:     Tickets are $10 for adults, ages 12 and up, and $6 for keiki ages five to 11. Kama'âina Annual Pass holders and full-day ticket holders receive free admission for the first two nights as well as the Samoan Cultural High School Arts Festival on Saturday.

For more info: Call 1-800-367-7060

Also taking place at the Polynesian Cultural Center during the World Fireknife Championships...the New "GO NATIVE!" HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES.

Eight New Interactive Features Entice Visitors to Learn Cultural Skills

If you have ever had the urge to climb barefoot up a coconut tree, try your hand at throwing a spear or learn to cook in an umu (Samoan aboveground oven), then here's your chance to "Go Native!" at the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC). Eight new "Go Native!" activities have been introduced to the PCC's popular daytime experiences to entice guests to "do as natives do" and actively participate in several traditional Polynesian aspects of daily life, including games, crafts, cooking and ceremonies.

"We are very excited to offer our guests a new lineup of fun and interactive activities that the whole family can enjoy … and there's something for everyone," said Delsa Moe, Cultural Presentations Director for the PCC. "It's one thing to watch a demonstration, but actually participating in the activities will give visitors a deeper understanding and appreciation for Polynesian culture. At the end of the day, it's our hope that they take these special memories and experiences back home to share with their ohana (family)."

Activities premiering in 2011 include the following:

Cooking Demonstrations

Twice a day, once in the island villages and then again in the early evening in the Pacific Marketplace, guests learn practical, modern techniques to create savory Polynesian cuisine at home, including tips and tricks for visitors' own backyard luau. Cooking demonstrations are suitable for all skill levels.

Umu Making
Guests participate in preparing and cooking traditional Samoan foods, including taro, breadfruit, palusami (young taro leaves
cooked in seasoned coconut cream) and faiai eleni (canned mackerel cooked in seasoned coconut milk) in the umu. Food and fire preparations start at noon daily. The umu is opened for food sampling at 3 p.m., following the Rainbows of Paradise canoe pageant.

Hawaiian Quilt Making and Pareu Dying

Quilting making kits and quilting lessons will be available throughout the day at the Hawaiian Mission Settlement for the beginner or master quilter who wants to learn the art and history of Hawaiian quilting. For those interested in creating a custom-dyed pareu (sarong), kits and lessons will be available in the Tahitian village.

Coconut Tree Climbing

This is your chance to kick off your shoes and climb a tree, "Samoan style"! Coconut tree climbing is available in the Samoan village. And don't worry, a safety harness makes the experience safe and fun for all skill levels.

Te Here Celebration

Vow renewals are the perfect way to reaffirm your love … and what better place to do it than in paradise, within the lush and beautiful island village of Tahiti. Whether you've been married for five or 50 years, couples can participate in a special and traditional Te Here (forever) wedding ceremony and celebrate their love and commitment for one another.

Canoe Paddling*

Looking for an adventurous way to discover Polynesia? With the help of an experienced paddler and guide, guests can hop on-board a newly built four-person outrigger canoe and paddle their way through PCC's lagoon. For those with a competitive edge, paddlers will also have the opportunity to race other canoe teams throughout the day.

*Participants may get wet!
Spear Throwing

In Tahiti, guests can try their hand at spearing a coconut, which is set on top of a 6-foot pole. In ancient times, this was a game for the young and a test of skill for the warriors.

For more information on prices for each event, or to make reservations, visit or call the PCC ticket office at (800) 367-7060. On Oahu, call 293-3333. The events schedule is subject to change without notice so guests are encouraged to call to confirm availability.
Founded in 1963 as a non-profit organization, the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) has entertained more than 34 million visitors, while preserving and portraying the culture, arts and crafts of Polynesia to the rest of the world. In addition, the PCC has provided financial assistance to nearly 17,000 young people from more than 70 different countries while they attend Brigham Young University-Hawaii. As a non-profit organization, 100 percent of PCC's revenue is used for daily operations and to support education.