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Around Hilo Town: Does anyone have tickets?

By Barbara A. Hastings

Special to The Star-Advertiser

LAST UPDATED: 10:04 a.m. HST, Apr 28, 2011

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

“Pre-dawn, finishing my walk at Liliuokalani Park … Ironwood tree singing its
song while the wind blows through its branches … Out of the side of my eye, a
halau 30 strong making its way toward Moku Ola … An early morning chant to
the hula gods or hookupu for a good competition. Welcome to Merrie Monarch.”
— Sheila Evans

“Does anybody have extra Merrie Monarch tickets?” asked Goodwill’s Bettye
Williams at the Rotary Club of Hilo Bay meeting early Wednesday. The room
erupted in raucous laughs …

Opening moments of the Merrie Monarch craft fair at “The Civic” and the place
was already crowded. People were gathering up lei, looking for deals on the best
crafts and lining up for food. All came to a halt, though, to listen to schoolchildren
sing the opening chant.

Special news was that Aunty Pua Kanakaole Kanahele, kumu hula and Hawaiian
culture resource, was overseeing the making of kapa that would be worn by
dancers. Aunty’s halau is performing, we’re told, but not competing. When? We
are trying to find out! Aunty Pua is daughter of Edith Kanakaole, the namesake of
the stadium where Merrie Monarch takes place.

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