Merrie Monarch Festival annual Ho‘ike

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Thousands were in attendance Wednesday night at the Merrie Monarch Festival’s annual Ho‘ike.

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Thousands were in attendance Wednesday night at the Merrie Monarch Festival’s annual Ho‘ike.

The lively free exhibition at the Edith Kanaka‘ole Multipurpose Stadium in Hilo featured music and dance from various cultures from across the Pacific.

Kicking off the evening was Halau O Kekuhi, the Hilo halau directed by kumu hula and Merrie Monarch judge Nalani Kanaka‘ole, the daughter of the late Edith Kanaka‘ole.

The halau performed the mele Pule Malaehaakoa, part of the Pele and Hi‘iaka legend, which includes Pele’s deification and her final settlement at Kilauea.

Other performances were by Tupulaga O Samoa Mo A Taeao, the University of Hawaii at Hilo Samoan Club; two Tahitian dance groups, Te Mau Aito O Hiro and Tamariki Poerani Dance Academy; and Filipino dance group Kayamanan Ng Lahi Philippine Folk Arts from Los Angeles.

Merrie Monarch schedule for today

• 9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Merrie Monarch Invitational Hawaiian Arts and Crafts Fair at Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium

• 10 a.m.: Hawaiian entertainment at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center

• 11 a.m.: Ke Ola Pono No Na Kupuna (kumu hula Haunani Medeiros) at Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium

• Noon: Halau Hula O Kou Lima Nani E (kumu hula Iwalani Kalima) at Hilo Naniloa Hotel

• 1 p.m.: Hula Halau Ke ‘Olu Makani O Mauna Loa (kumu hula Meleana Manuel) at Hilo Hawaiian Hotel

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• 1 p.m.: Hawaiian lecture at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center

• 6 p.m.: Miss Aloha Hula Competition at Edith Kanaka‘ole Multipurpose Stadium

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