Splash and dazzle! One of the most exciting dance events in the Islands is the annual Kauai` Polynesian Festival, set for May 24-27.
The popular festival is hosted by the Kamanawa Foundation, led by Kapu Kinimaka-Alquiza, the kumu hula of Halau Na Hula o Kaohikukapulani.
“I believe Kaua`i is the birthplace of hula,” Kinimaka-Alquiza says. “Hula is an important part of the Hawaiian culture. It leads to who we are as people today.”
This festival is pure pleasure, and at the same time, it’s totally culture. Both of the Kinimaka sisters have proud, strong and long roots in their culture as well as in the cultural dances they teach.
This year, the festival will kick off with A Polynesian Evening of Stars, a concert, fashion show and talent contest set to begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 24, at the Kaua`i Community College Performing Arts Center. Food and arts and crafts will be sold. Tickets are $10.
On Friday, the festival moves over to the Vidinha Stadium soccer fields, off Kapule Highway in Lihu`e, and it will remain there through the weekend. Action starts at 11:30 a.m. on all three days. The festival shuts down for the night on Friday at 9 p.m.; on Saturday at 10:30 p.m.; and the festival closes for good on Sunday at 6 p.m.
The festival has a whole lot of shakin’ goin’ on. Dancers from New Zealand, Tahiti and Hawai`i perform hula, poi ball, fire knife and other dramatic dances. Food booths, island crafts, cultural demonstrations and a farmer’s market offer sustenance, treasures and fun.
Entrance to the festival at the Vidhina soccer fields is $10/day or $25/all three days.
Visit the Polynesian Fest to rev up for the event.
Click on the menu button labeled Magazine PDF above the long red line that runs across the full page, and when it opens, select the May issue. Go to page 15 of the May issue and you can read the special four-page list of everything happening during the festival.