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For more than 50 years, Aloha Festivals has honored Hawaii's heritage and has grown to include hundreds of events spanning six islands through a mix of pageantry, parades, street parties, concerts and family activities.
Throughout September, Oahu residents and visitors can participate in activities such as the Waikiki Hoolaulea that celebrate this year's theme -- Na Honu Hawaii or "The Spirit Within." The Aloha Festivals Opening Ceremony takes place at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Iolani Palace. Other highlights include the Waikiki Hoolaulea Friday, a floral parade Sept. 17 and a falsetto concert Sept. 23.
The hoolaulea opens with the arrival of the Oahu Royal Court at 6 p.m., as they sail into Waikiki via catamaran. Upon landing on the beach in front of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, the king will be greeted by the chiefs and women of the court. The procession then moves to the Sheraton Waikiki's Diamond Lawn, where a formal ceremony will be conducted with drummers, dancers and musicians.
Festivities continue through the evening with nine entertainment stages featuring musicians such as Kapena, Raiatea Helm, Aunty Genoa Keawe, Sean Naauao and Keahiwai.
The street party will include hula performances, Hawaiian food and international cuisine, as well as flower, shell and feather lei booths.
A free shuttle will run between the Kapiolani Community College parking lot and the Waikiki Shell from 6 to 11 p.m. Parking is also available at locations in and around Waikiki.
Go to alohafestivals.com for more details.
Oahu highlights» Opening ceremony: 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Iolani Palace.
» Waikiki Hoolaulea: 53rd annual block party on Kalakaua Avenue Friday (see details above). Kalakaua from Lewers Street to Kapahulu Avenue will be closed to vehicles from 5:30 p.m. until midnight.
» Keiki Hoolaulea: At Pearlridge Center, beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday.
» Downtown Hoolaulea: Block party in Downtown Honolulu, from Bishop to Merchant to Smith streets, begins at 6 p.m. Sept. 16.
» Aloha Festivals Floral Parade: Pau riders, royal court and floral floats make their way from Ala Moana Park through Waikiki to Kapiolani Park, beginning 9 a.m. Sept. 17.
>> Aloha Sunday Services: At Central Union Church on Sept. 18.
» Aloha Festivals Hawaiian Falsetto Contest: Amateur singers vie for prizes at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, 7 p.m. Sept. 23. Call 589-1771.
Big Island» "E Hula Mai Kaua": Couples hula competition debuts at Keauhou Shopping Center, Friday.
» Falsetto Contest: Honors living treasure, Clyde "Kindy" Sproat; Saturday at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. For application, call (808) 885-7786.
» Poke Contest: Entries will be available for tasting Sunday at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. Also, Hawaiian craft fair. For information and ticket prices, visit www.PokeContest.com or call (808) 936-0670.
» 30th Paniolo Parade: Pau riders, floats, bands, marching and mounted units, led by Royal Court. Begins 10 a.m. Sept. 17 at Parker Ranch, where roads will be closed for one hour for the parade. Call (808) 885-7786.
» 23nd Annual Kupuna Hula Festival: Elders will gather at King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel Sept. 21 for this hula competition. Arts, crafts and an appearance by the Royal Court are also scheduled. Call (808) 961-8592 or (808) 322-1812 for ticket information. Discount admission with a festival ribbon.
» Hilo Hoolaulea: 12th annual event on Sept. 24 features music on three stages, food, arts and crafts on Front Street. Call (808) 935-5461 for information.
Kauai» Opening Ceremony and Luau: 4 p.m. Thursday at Hyatt Regency Kauai, Seaview Terrace Lounge. Purchase luau tickets by calling (808) 742-1234. A $3 discount is available with an 2004 Aloha Festivals Ribbon.
» Kauai Hoolaulea: 10:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Kukui Grove Shopping Mall Center Stage, with Hawaiian and international foods, arts, crafts and Hawaiian music and dancing.
» Luau Feast: 5 p.m. Saturday, Smith's Tropical Gardens, with 6 p.m. imu ceremony. Admission is $65, or $48 with a 2005 festival ribbon. Call (808) 245-8508.
» Royal Luau: 5:30 p.m. Sept. 15 at Radisson Kauai Beach Resort, featuring the dance company Rohotu, and the Punua family of entertainers honoring Kauai's Royal Court with a show, plus food and drink. Call (808) 335-LUAU (5828) or toll-free, (877) 237-7700 for reservations.
Maui» Lahaina Banyan Tree Hoolaulea: Gather under the oldest and largest Banyan tree in the state for this 18th annual party featuring arts and crafts, hula, food, music and the Aston Resort's Laulau Cookoff; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 17.
» Maui Makahiki: Cultural demonstrations, makahiki games, all-day entertainment, crafts and food booths. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 8 at Kaanapali Beach Hotel's Luau Grounds. Learn the sports of the pahe'e (dart sliding), ulumaika ( Hawaiian bowling) or 'o'oihe (spear throwing).
Molokai» Royal Court Investiture: Greet the court with gifts and lei at 7 p.m. Oct. 6 in Kaunakakai's Malama Cultural Park.
» Ho'ike Town Show: Pau hana music and dance, 7 p.m. Oct. 7 on the Kaunakakai library grounds.
» Molokai Parade: Through rustic Kaunakakai, 9 a.m. Oct. 8.
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