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12th Annual `Iolani Luahine Hula Festival

The 12th annual 'Iolani Luahine Hula Festival will be held on on the grounds of the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay on January 24 and 25.

The `Iolani Luahine Festival was established in 2003 to perpetuate the hula, the native dance of Hawaii, and to honor the memory of `Iolani Luahine and her contributions to the preservation of hula and Hawaiian culture.

This year's festival will again include hula workshops and presentations, and an educational challenge to Kumu Hula, with a prize for the one who best demonstrates the values of `Iolani Luahine: education and Hawaiian culture.

Friday will feature a Ni`ihau shell earrings and bracelet workshop with Kumu Kele Kanahele in the morning. In the afternoon he will teach a hula about the shells of Ni`ihau. Advance registration for the bracelet and earrings workshop is required. Registration deadline is January 10.

Saturday morning will feature a hula workshop by Loea Kawaikapuokalani Hewett teaching E ike i ka nani o Hopoe. Kumu Rolinda Bean will teach the same song at an `ukulele workshop at the same time. At the conclusion of the workshops, the two groups will combine for practice for a performance later in the day.

The festival's hula presentations will begin at 16:00 (4pm) on Friday, and will feature makuahine, makuakane and kūpuna hula presentations. Saturday at 1pm will feature the keiki, wahine and kane presentations.

The hula presentations on both days are offered free to the public. Registration fees and information about the workshops and events are available at www.iolaniluahinefestival.org.

Evening musical entertainment on Friday and Saturday will be open for everyone to enjoy - tickets will be available at the door for a $10 donation, which helps support the festival. Aunty Diana Aki, the Songbird of Miloli`i, along with the Ladies of Waiku`i and Konabob will take the stage on Friday night.

Saturday night, several of Maui's treasures - Lei`ohu Ryder & Maydeen Iao, along with Ahumanu will be featured. On Saturday, the festival will offer quality Hawaiian arts and crafts by local artisans along with free entertainment all day from 09:00-18:00 (9am-6pm).

For more information about the festival, please visit the festival website.