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Trans-Pacific celebration

  • HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald Halau O Kekuhi of Hilo performs during the 2018 Merrie Monarch Ho‘ike Wednesday night at Edith Kanaka‘ole Multi-Purpose Stadium in Hilo.

  • HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald Ka Pa Hula O Ka Lei Lehua from Oahu performs during Wednesday night’s Merrie Monarch Festival Ho‘ike at Edith Kanaka‘ole Multi-Purpose Stadium in Hilo.

  • HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald Hula Halau ‘O Kamuela Iapana from Japan performs Wednesday night during the 2018 Merrie Monarch Ho‘ike at Edith Kanaka‘ole Multi-Purpose Stadium in Hilo.

The Merrie Monarch Festival’s Wednesday night Ho‘ike featured a tribute to the original crew of the Polynesian Voyaging Society double-hulled canoe Hokule‘a, which returned to Hilo earlier this week for the first time since leaving on a world tour in 2014.

Performances included Halau O Kekuhi under the direction of co-kumu hula Nalani Kanaka‘ole Zane and Huihui Kanahele-Mossman; Hula Halau ‘O Kamuela Iapana under the direction of co-kumu hula Kau‘ionalani Kamana‘o, Kunewa Mook and and Ako Kubota, Ka Pa Hula O Ka Lei Lehua under the direction of Snowbird Bento; and Halau Na Kamalei O Lililehua under the direction of Robert Cazimero.

The festival’s three-night hula competition starts at 6 p.m. today with 12 women vying for the coveted title Miss Aloha Hula.

For a full story, visit our Merrie Monarch page at www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/tag/merrie-monarch-festival/.

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