Saturday, April 2, 2011

47th Annual Merrie Monarch Festival — April 24 - 30, 2011

Each year in April, the world's most prestigious hula event takes center stage in Hilo on the Big Island. Honoring the legacy of King David Kalakaua (who revived the art of hula during his reign of the Hawaiian Kingdom from 1874 to 1891), the venerable Merrie Monarch Festival features a week-long celebration of Hawaiian culture that culminates in a three-day competition at Edith Kanaka‘ole Tennis Stadium.

King David Kalakaua
Beginning April 24, attendees can enjoy such festivities as an arts & crafts fair, a ho‘olaulea (music festival) and a pa‘u equestrian parade in downtown Hilo. The hula competition gets underway on Thursday evening, April 28, when individual dancers perform in the Miss Aloha Hula contest, followed on Friday and Saturday evenings by the group competitions. Led by their respective kumu (master teachers), hula halau (teams) from across the state and the mainland perform the ancient style (kahiko) and contemporary hula (‘auana), vying for top honors in both the men's and women's divisions.

Most activities are free during the week throughout the festival, however, tickets are required to attend the hula competition. Tickets are hard to come by at the last minute, so if you can't make the competition in person, you can join the hundreds of thousands of hula enthusiasts who will be watching live on KITV Channel 5. Or link to the live stream at to see all the action.

Holualoa Inn offers a Girlfriends' Getaway that includes an authentic hula lesson and a copy of your hula song on CD to take with you. This Hawaiian vacation package is one of many offered Big Island bed and breakfast located in the heart of Kona, Hawaii, in the artists' village of Holualoa.

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn

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