Merrie Monarch 2017

The World Series, the World Cup, the Stanley Cup, the Super Bowl…call it what you will. The hula equivalent of those events is taking place over the next three nights in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawai’i. It’s being livestreamed and you can watch it by clicking the image below.

Here’a good primer on what it is, how to watch, and what to look for.

Here’s the Wikipedia article about the Festival.

There are three nights of competition. Tonight a whole bunch of young women get 14 minutes apiece to try to persuade the judges they should be Miss Aloha Hula 2017. Friday night is for groups (halau) performing ancient hulas. Saturday night is for modern hula performances and award ceremonies. Saturday morning the Merrie Monarch Royal Parade winds its way through downtown Hilo, with pa’u riders on horseback and many other participants.

Tickets are nearly impossible to get. The stadium seats fewer than 5,000 (it was built for tennis, not for a gigantic hula event) and it sells out a year in advance. Hilo doesn’t have a whole lot of hotel rooms available, either. The Big Island has about 12,000 rooms, but only about 1,500 of them are on the Hilo side of the island. That’s why the show has been televised live for the past 35 years.

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