By Léo Azambuja

16- Queen Emma, portrayed by Lesah Gail Noelani Vierra Merritt, flanked by her lady in waiting, Kawaiokanaio Vierra and her kaluahi, Norman Hookano

The 31st annual Emalani Festival Kaua‘i, Eo e Emalani i Alaka‘i, at Koke‘e State Park Oct. 12 celebrated the beloved Queen Emma and her 1871 journey from Lawa‘i Valley to Kilohana Lookout in Koke‘e.

Each year, this free event attracts several hula halau from Hawai‘i and beyond, and each halau perform for about 20 minutes for the queen, portrayed this year by Lesah Gail Noelani Vierra Merritt. Hundreds came to Koke‘e to enjoy the festival. There were also many vendors and a local food booth.

Eo e Emalani i Alaka‘i is hosted by Hui o Laka and funded partly by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, along with many community partners and businesses.