Special to KPUA.net by H.I.E.D.B
"Hula Lives Through Its People"
Hawaii Island Economic Development Board is a private non-profit organization whose mission is, "To provide and promote private-sector support and expertise for balanced economic growth in Hawaii County, in partnership with federal, state, county and private resources."
The first "Aloha Week" celebration took place in 1946. Now, this yearıs Aloha Festivals mark 57 years of celebrations of Hawaiiıs music, dance, art, food and history with hundreds of events statewide. The theme for the 2003 Aloha Festivals is "Hula Lives Through Its People."
Held from August through September, many Aloha Festivals events are coordinated by thousands of volunteers who want to share Hawaiiıs culture with visitors that flock to Hawaii to take part in the activities. Aloha Festivalsı events are both cultural and economic assets to Hawaii. The festival has the added stature of being the only statewide festival in the nation. Although difficult to quantify, it has been estimated in excess of $2 million in Hawaii Island revenues can be directly attributed to Aloha Festivals.
One of Hawaii Islandıs largest Aloha Festivals events is "He Halia Aloha o Liliuokalani Queen Liliuokalani Birthday Celebration" in Queen Liliuokalani Park in Hilo on Sunday, September 28. The day-long event starting at 10:00 a.m. will celebrate Queen Liliuokalani's musical legacy and her birthday anniversary with songs and hula performances by Hawaii Island master musicians, kupuna and noted kumu hula.
Multi-ethnic entertainment is planned throughout the day and includes an appearance by the Aloha Festivalsı Royal Court, taiko drumming, ukulele performances, bon dancing, pa'u draping and pahu drum making. The event will culminate with the highly anticipated mass hula performance featuring more than 300 dancers from island halau performing in unison. Other activities will include a tea ceremony, Hawaiian games and displays, a bounty of food vendors and crafters demonstrating and selling their arts. Admission to "He Halia Aloha o Liliuokalani" is free of charge, however, an Aloha Festivals ribbon is recommended.
Tapping in to the energy of the Queen Liliuokalani weekend will be an intense, informative and entertaining conference for music industry professionals on Saturday, September 27 called Haku Mele 2003. Registration for the conference is $75 and includes lunch. Deadline for registration is September 16. For information or registration forms call Hawaii Island Economic Development Board at 966-5416.
Throughout September, special celebrations, or ho'olaulea, are planned in nearly every region of Hawaii Island. The celebrations feature music, crafts, food and dance, a true combination of all the Aloha Festivals components. Celebrations are planned in Holualoa September 13, at Waikoloa Beach Resort September 6, Keauhou on September 19, Waimea on September 20, at Mauna Lani Bay Hotel September 26 and in Hilo September 27. Hilton Waikoloa Villageıs "Return to Paradise" line-up includes Na Leo, Kalapana and Cecilio & Kapono.
Hula events are planned at Volcano Art Center Gallery on August 23 and in Kau August 30 and 31. Seniors from Hawaii and all over the world will perform and compete at the 21st Annual Kupuna Hula Festival at King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel September 17. Hula Palua, a couples hula competition, will debut September 19 at Keauhou Shopping Center.
On September 7, the annual Clyde Sproat Falsetto and Storytelling Contest at Waikoloa Beach Marriott will salute the influence of Hawaii Island's paniolo heritage. The 11th Annual Slack Key & Ukulele Festival is planned for August 30 at Hilton Waikoloa Village.
Holualoa Village will hold its parade September 17. The 28th annual Paniolo Parade in Waimea is September 20 and is co-sponsored by Parker Ranch. The 10th Annual Paniolo Hat Lei Contest will follow the parade at Parker Ranch Centerıs Food Court.
Aloha Festivals would not be complete without food-filled events to celebrate Hawaii Island's culinary diversity. Sam Choy's Poke Contest September 14 features nearly 1,000 international professionals and island amateurs competing with their recipes at Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel.
Other Aloha Festivals events on Hawaii Island include visits to several historical locations by the Royal Court, a Ms. Aloha Nui Pageant September 6, a Children's Day with hands-on crafts at Lyman House Museum September 27, and an Aloha Festivals Craft Fair at Hilo's Prince Kuhio Shopping Plaza September 12.
Many Aloha Festivals events are free, some charge admission and others offer free or discounted admission with an Aloha Festivals 2003 ribbon. The collector ribbons are available at Alapaki's at Keauhou Shopping Center in Keauhou, Cook's Discoveries in Waimea and U'i Design Company in Kona. For more information visit www.alohafestivals.com
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