In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

Vicky Holt Takamine previews 56th Annual Merrie Monarch Festival

Hawaii celebrates hula during the 56th Annual Merrie Monarch Festival April 24 - 27

Hula’s biggest celebration will soon be in full swing on Hawaii Island! Aunty Vicky Holt Takamine is playing a big role yet again as one of the judges in the 56th Annual Merrie Monarch Festival. She joins HI Now host Jobeth Devera to talk about what we can expect to see this year.

You can catch all the excitement from hula’s most prestigious event airing April 24 – 27 on K5, and a special week-long edition of HI Now highlighting hula and Hawaii’s culture starting Monday, April 22 during the 7 a.m. hour of Hawaii News Now: Sunrise on KGMB.

Festival Events:

Hoʻolauleʻa (celebration)

9:00 a.m., Sunday, April 21

Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium

Free admission to watch performances by local hālau


Free Mid-day Entertainment

Daily (Monday through Friday)

Entertainment at the Grand Naniloa Hotel (12 p.m.) and the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel (1 p.m.)


Merrie Monarch Invitational Hawaiian Arts Fair

9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Wednesday,

April 24 through Friday, April 26

9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Saturday, April 27

Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium

An annual favorite, this free event features local artists, crafters, and entertainment


Hōʻike Performances

6:00 pm, Wednesday, April 24

Edith Kanakaʻole Stadium

An exhibition night of hula and folk dance from around the Pacific.

The performances are free to the public, no tickets required


Miss Aloha Hula

6:00 pm, Thursday, April 25

Edith Kanakaʻole Stadium

Individual competition for the title of Miss Aloha Hula with contestants performing hula kahiko, hula ʻauana and oli (chant)


Group Hula Kahiko

6:00 pm, Friday, April 26

Edith Kanakaʻole Stadium

Hālau hula perform ancient style dances.


Group Hula ʻAuana & Awards

6:00 pm, Saturday, April 27

Edith Kanakaʻole Stadium

Hālau hula perform modern style dances, followed by an awards presentation for all group winners


Merrie Monarch Royal Parade

10:30 am, Saturday, April 27

One of the festival’s most entertaining and fun events for the entire family. The parade goes through downtown Hilo, beginning and ending at Pauahi St.

(Kilauea Ave. — Keawe St. — Waiānuenue Ave. — Kamehameha Ave.)


For more information: