Ho’olaule’a (Party time!)

| September 22, 2017 | 0 Comments

Aloha Festivals make September special

The Hawaiian Air Lines float won the Grandsweep Stakes Award in the 2016 Aloha Festival Floral Parade (Photos By Eugene Tanner Photography, LLC, Courtesy of Aloha Festivals)

Kristen Wong
Contributing Writer
WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD — As Soldiers and their families move to their new duty station in Hawaii for the first time, they may wonder what lies in store for their tour in the islands.

This month, they will see a close look at Hawaiian culture in the bright, floral floats and festive attire, plus performances and more at the annual Aloha Festivals.

Lanai Pau Princess Ronica Ann Ibara waves to the crowd during the 2016 Aloha Festival Floral Parade.

Aloha Festivals, which began as Aloha Week in 1946, shares aspects of Hawaiian culture, from music to food.

Culture on display
“The entire ‘ohana (family) from grandparents to keiki (children) are invited to create enduring memories and experiences of Hawaii’s rich cultural history and traditions during the 2017 Aloha Festivals in September,” a Festivals news release reads.

The theme of this year’s Aloha Festivals is “He Lei Aloha Ke Keiki,” which means “Children are our Garland of Love.” The theme was inspired by Hawaiian proverbs, which use flowers and garlands as metaphors for children, and encourage people to care for their young to promote a successful future.

“Aloha Festivals has been in Hawaii for over seven decades and has continued to support and strengthen the local community. Approximately 110,000 visitors come to Hawaii for the Festivals each year,” said Sam Shenkus, co-chair of the Board of Directors for Aloha Festivals.

“We are proud to continue perpetuating Hawaiian music, dance and history through cultural showcase, persevering the unique traditions of Hawaii through a free, month-long celebration.”

Participants gather at the 2017 Aloha Festivals Royal Court Investiture and Opening Ceremony near the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, (Courtesy of Aloha Festivals)

Regal showcase
The Aloha Festivals began with the Royal Court Investiture & Opening Ceremony, Sept. 9, at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel & Royal Hawaiian Center. Members of the Aloha Festivals Royal Court officially accepted their titles in a ceremony.

Each court member, who has Hawaiian ancestry in their family, received elements of traditional dress, such as cloaks and helmets to symbolize their position. The court includes a king, queen, prince, princess and various other members. Each will hold their title till August of 2018.

This year, the Mo‘i Kane, or King, is Howard Polani Kwai Ching Fu, a retired Army first sergeant.

In keeping with this year’s theme, there was a Keiki Ho‘olaule‘a at Pearlridge Center, Sept. 16, which included performances, activities and more. The event included Pu Ha‘aheo, a Keiki Conch Shell Blowing Contest, at the Downtown Center Court.

Children learned the techniques, ceremonial etiquette and history of shell blowing in an August workshop.

The 2016 Aloha Festival Hoolaulea held on Kalakaua Ave. in Waikiki. (Courtesy of Aloha Festivals)

Sept. 23
The 65th Annual Waikiki Ho‘olaule‘a is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 23, from 7 to 10 p.m. along Kalakaua Avenue. This event is touted as “Hawaii’s largest, most festive block party,” according to a press release, and includes various types of Hawaiian music, performances and food.

There is a La Keiki, or “Kids’ Day,” scheduled at The Royal Grove, at Royal Hawaiian Center, Saturday, Sept. 23, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The day includes a magic show, performances by Kamehameha Schools and Ke Kula Mele, as well as Zumba with E Ola Koa. (For more information about La Keiki, visit http://royalhawaiiancenter.com/event/l-keiki-kids-day/2145494574 or call 922-2299.)

The 2016 Aloha Festival Hoolaulea held on Kalakaua Ave. in Waikiki, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016, in Honolulu. (Courtesy of Aloha Festivals)

Those interested in learning hula can participate in the Aloha Festivals Hula Workshop, Sept. 23, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Students will be able to learn a Hula Auana (modern) from 9 a.m. to noon, and Hula Kahiko (ancient) from 1 to 4 p.m. Those who attend the workshop are invited to perform the modern dance, “Aloha Week Hula,” during the Waikiki Ho‘olaule‘a. There is a preregistration fee of $100, or $125 at the door. Email mihoko@waikikiimprovement.com.

Pau Queen Berna Carvalho rides in the floral parade during the 2016 Aloha Festivals. (Photo courtesy of Aloha Festivals)

The Aloha Festivals’ 71st Annual Floral Parade is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 30, from 9 a.m. to noon. The parade begins at Ala Moana Beach Park, follows Kalakaua Avenue and ends at Kapiolani Park. The parade includes horseback riders, floats, Hawaiian music, hula halau and local marching bands.

More Online
For more information about the Aloha Festivals, call 923-2030, or visit www.alohafestivals.com.

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