Aloha Festivals Part 1 - Waikiki Ho'olaule'a

The 62nd Annual Aloha Festivals began its celebrations in Honolulu this past weekend. What is known today as Aloha Festivals was created in 1946, as Aloha Week - a cultural celebration of Hawaii’s music, dance and history intended to perpetuate our unique traditions. This is the oldest and largest Hawaiian cultural statewide celebration in the United States. The events are held throughout the month of September, each island creating their own unique festivities.

The Aloha Festivals faced economic challenges recently and there were even thoughts of discontinuing it. The festival theme, “Hula: The Art of Hawaiian Dance,” energized the community, especially the hula enthusiasts, and with the support of local volunteers and sponsors the Aloha Festivals proved to be a success once again. It is through the sale of Aloha Festivals ribbons and merchandise, corporate and private donations, and the support of thousands of volunteers that the Aloha Festivals will prevail. Please support this wonderful event.

Let me tell you about the Waikiki Ho’olaule’a that took place Friday evening. “Ho’olaule’a” means “celebration”, and what a wonderful way to kick off the Aloha Festivals with a block party spread along Waikiki’s Kalakaua Avenue from 7:00 to 10:00 pm. Five stages of entertainment focused on hula and Hawaiian music. Food and beverage vendors, lei makers and crafts merchants made for a wonderful variety of activities.

Crowds of people down Kalakaua Avenue, around 6:30 pm.

The wonderful aromas of food attract the hungry crowd.

So much food to choose from!

Hearty Bar-B-Q…so ono, yummy!

There were many craft booths however the lei stands are the favorites at the Aloha Festivals.

Over 56 vendors participated this year.
T-shirts with lei decorations.

You must support the Aloha Festivals and buy ribbons for $5.
Just like our Honolulu Festival, the Aloha Festivals is a non-profit organization and relies strictly on the donations and support of its sponsors and volunteers. It is a festival truly of the people of Hawaii by the people of Hawaii. Donations are tax deductible and welcomed.

The arrival of the Royal Court kicks off the Ho’olaule’a.

This is a tradition that has been carried on for 62 years.

Next are the hula performances.

Manoa DNA on stage.

As they were participants in our 14th Annual Honolulu Festival, Manoa DNA has a special place in my heart.

From left are Dad, Alex and Nick. The Kawakami Family lives in Manoa. Take their initials and thus their name, Manoa DNA.

Manoa DNA with Miss Hawaii.

…with Miss Aloha Hula.

Their beautiful hula…simply mesmerizing.

Other performers on stage who previously participated in our Honolulu Festival included Maunalua, Raiatea Helm and Taimane Gardner.

The Aloha Festivals Waikiki Ho’olaule’a was so much fun. Please stay tuned for Part 2.

Honolulu Festival Foundation

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