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Merrie Monarch Festival is the Olympics of Hula (News item #42 published: 11/16/07)
There is certainly nothing like it in the world of Hula, probably is nothing like it in the world of dance and as a cultural phenomenon few events can match it. The Merrie Monarch Festival held every spring on the Big Island of Hawaii is a week-long affair that begins a Ho'olaulea (music festival) at the Hilo Civic Center and continues all week with free noon-day entertainment at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel and Naniloa Volcanoes Resort.
There are free exhibitions at the Edith Kanaka'ole Tennis Stadium, a solo Miss Aloha Hula Competition and then Friday and Saturday are the group Kahiko (Ancient) and 'Auana (Modern) hula competitions. If you think you know Hula from tourist brochures and mainland television you will be very surprised.
The scale and scope of these affairs is simply over powering. Group after group of highly disciplined and artistically beautiful men and women will peal away your feelings and expose you to the love that is Aloha.
The festival also features arts and crafts fairs and even a big Merrie Monarch Royal Parade that winds through downtown Hilo. Except for the competition are events are free.
Maybe that is why tickets are so hard to come by. In fact, Festival Managers use a unique method of insuring equal access for the over flow crowds. To get a ticket, event attendees must mail a request along with money order or cashiers check to the to the Merrie Monarch Festival Office.
You will need to mail in your request for two tickets only along with a money order or cashier's check for tickets to the Merrie Monarch Festival Office no sooner than December 26 each year. Requests received prior to Christmas are returned unfulfilled. Orders are fill in the order they are received.
Send requests to Merrie Monarch Festival Office 101 Aupuni Street, Suite 1014-A1 Hilo, HI 96720 Phone: (808) 935-9168 Fax: (808) 969-3058.
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