Merrie Monarch Festival

At the Merrie Monarch with Gail, Don Straney and Mayor Billy Kenoi

At the Merrie Monarch Festival with Gail Makuakāne-Lundin, UH Hilo Chancellor Don Straney and Hawaiʻi County Mayor Billy Kenoi

I was fortunate enough to travel to Hilo over the weekend to see the 49th annual Merrie Monarch Festival. I joined UH Hilo Chancellor Don Straney and others for a wonderful time, as we witnessed the culmination of months and months of rehearsal and preparation.

The performers were breathtaking as they danced ancient and modern hula and chanted in an array of colorful costumes. The stadium was packed, the audience was appreciative of the amazing talent before us and they loved every moment.

I even had a chance to pay my respects to Madame Pele with a visit to Volcanoes National Park. It was a weekend to be remembered!

Merrie Monarch Festival

With Don Straney, Interim Maui Trustee of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Carmen "Hulu" Lindsey, Mauna Kea Management Board Member Herring Kalua, Sherry Kalua and Billy Kenoi

with Noenoelani Zuttermeister, Judge

Noenoelani Zuttermeister, Merrie Monarch Festival judge

paying our respects to Pele

Paying our respects to Pele