Hui o Laka, the nonprofit organization that runs Koke‘e Natural History Museum, announced that Sharalyn Kahealani Bucasas will portray Queen Emma at the 30th annual Emalani Festival Kaua‘i, Eo e Emalani i Alaka‘i, on Oct. 13 on the lush expanse of Kanaloahuluhulu Meadow in Koke‘e State Park.
Bucasas was raised on Kauaʻi and is a graduate of Waimea High School and University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa. The Queen’s Court includes Lady-in-Waiting is Shannon Nohealani Bucasas; Kaluahi, the Queen’s guide, is Norman Hoʻokano; and Kumu Hololio is Kauhi Agoun. Roselle Keliʻihonipua Bailey will be the mistress of ceremonies for the event.
A free annual day of history and hula, Emalani Festival Kaua‘i brings together residents and visitors to celebrate Hawai‘i’s beloved Queen Emma and recall her journey to the Koke‘e uplands and Kilohana vista in 1871.
Queen Emma made the journey up from her Lawa‘i beach house with more than 100 companions, eager for an adventure with their Queen. Along the way, she called for her court chanter to offer ‘oli, great poems of appreciation for the magnificence of the region’s landscape and for its precious birds, trees and plants. Other chants praised the monarch’s courage to undertake the trek in the January cold. She sat in the Alaka‘i Swamp and chanted ancient mele to give them cheer to endure a soggy night.
Live music will fill the meadow beginning at 9 a.m. with KNUI Connection with Ukulele Na Haumana O Namolokama followed by Nick Castillo & Friends.
“At 11 a.m., as Castillo sings Wahine Uʻi, the Queen will ride into the Meadow accompanied by her guide Kaluahi, the Hawaiian hunter and cowboy who guided the royal horseback party over rough slippery terrain,” said Chris Faye, Hui o Laka Executive Director. “The experience is breathtaking, and you wonʻt want to miss it.”
Eleven halau from across Hawai‘i will share gifts of chant and dance until 4 p.m. Kananaka, consisting of Ed Panua, Gabby Manintin and Wally Rita, will perform sublime Hawaiian music during intermission. Exhibits, craft tables, a silent auction and a snack shop enhance the festival experience, which is best enjoyed with a low chair or mat.
The festival, co-sponsored by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and Hui o Laka, along with many community partners and businesses, has grown to be one of the most popular and authentic cultural events on Kaua‘i.
Parking is limited so carpooling is recommended. Wear layered clothing for the cool uplands. This is a smoke-, alcohol-, and pet-free event in a State Park.
For more information or to request ADA assistance up to seven days prior to the event, call the Koke‘e Natural History Museum at (808) 335-9975, ext. 2, or visitwww.emalanifestivalkauai.org or www.kokee.org. Follow the museum www.facebook.com/KokeeMuseumNew.