Hui o Laka, the nonprofit organization that runs Koke‘e Natural History Museum, will hold the 31th annual Eo e Emalani i Alaka‘i Saturday, Oct. 12 on the lush expanse of Kanaloahuluhulu Meadow in Koke‘e State Park, according to news release from Hui o Laka.
The event, also known as the Emalani Festival Kaua‘i, brings together residents and visitors to celebrate Hawai‘i’s beloved Queen Emma and recalls 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. Then at 11 a.m., as Nick Castillo sings his composition “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,
About a dozen halau (hula groups) from across Hawai‘i will share gifts of chant and dance until 4 p.m. 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 visit www.emalanifestivalkauai.org or www.kokee.org. Follow the museum www.facebook.com/KokeeMuseumNew.