42nd annual Prince Lot Hula Festival at Iolani Palace features special performances
by hālau hula of Nā Kumu Hula Robert Uluwehi Cazimero, Karl Veto Baker and Michael Lanakila Casupang
I Mua E Nā Pōkiʻi, Move Forward, O Youth. The 42nd annual Prince Lot Hula Festival takes place at the historic Iolani Palace on Saturday, July 20, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Sunday, July 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Prince Lot Hula Festival is the largest non-competitive hula celebration in Hawai‘i. It honors Prince Lot Kapuāiwa, who helped reprise hula in the 1850s and reigned as Kamehameha V from 1863 to 1872.
The festival is free to attend thanks in large part to Hawai‘i’s visitors and tourism dollars. Hawai‘i Tourism is the presenting sponsor of the Prince Lot Hula Festival.
There will be special performances by award winning hālau hula. On Saturday at 10:05 a.m., Kumu Hula Robert Cazimero and Hālau Nā Kamalei O Lililehua will perform. They return to the festival after a four-year absence.
On Sunday at 11 a.m., Hālau I Ka Wekiu, led by Nā Kumu Hula Karl Veto Baker and Michael Lanakila Casupang, will perform a special tribute to fire goddess Pele featuring 90 dancers.
“Hawaii Tourism is proud to support the kumu hula and ‘ōlapa who carry the kuleana of hula and the Moanalua Gardens Foundation for providing an opportunity for them to share that hula,” HTA president and CEO Chris Tatum said.
Moanalua Gardens Foundation (MGF) is the festival’s producer.
“We are honored to have two of Hawai‘i’s finest hālau hula participate this year and are looking
forward to their stunning performances,” MGF executive director and president Alika Jamile said.
“We encourage the entire community to join us for the 42nd annual Prince Lot Hula Festival at Iolani Palace to celebrate two days of hula on these sacred grounds, where our aliʻi, including Prince Lot, lived and ruled.”
The Prince Lot Hula Festival was founded in 1978 by MGF as a gift to the community. It now attracts thousands of residents and visitors every year.
The opening ceremony on Saturday will include the Royal Order of Kamehameha, and presentation of MGF’s Namakahelu Oli Award to Master Chanter Kamuela Chun of Hilo.
Twenty-one hālau hula will perform both kāhiko (ancient) and ‘auana (contemporary) hula over the festival weekend. Hālau from every major Hawaiian island have been invited and their kumu have been encouraged to include dancers from their out-of-state branches.
On Sunday, as part of the opening program, MGF will honor the late Kumu Hula Hokulani De Rego, who came from the hula line of Lokalia Montgomery, with its Sixth Annual Malia Kau award. The award will be accepted by her three daughters who are continuing their mother’s hula legacy through Halau Hula ‘O Hokulani.
The festival will also feature a Hawaiian themed craft fair, and cultural demonstrations.
Food and refreshments will be available for purchase throughout the day, along with limited edition t-shirts and souvenir kōkua buttons. Proceeds from the merchandise sales will help cover some of the costs of the festival.
The event is open to the public. People are encouraged to bring their beach chairs and mats. No commercial photography is allowed.
Major sponsors and supporters include: Hawai‘i Tourism, the National Endowment for the Arts, State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Iolani Palace, Hawaiian Airlines, Matson Navigation, The Queen’s Medical Center, Royal Hawaiian Center, Koga Engineering, Pasha Hawaii, Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau, O‘ahu Visitors Bureau, the Honolulu Star Advertiser, MidWeek, ‘Ōlelo Community Media, and Urgent Care Hawaii.
Participating hālau and a festival performance schedule will be announced at a later date. For more information, please call 808.839.5334.
A non-profit organization founded in 1970, Moanalua Gardens Foundation (MGF) is committed to preserving and perpetuating the native culture and environment of Hawai’i through education and stewardship of Kamananui (Moanalua) Valley and celebration of the Prince Lot Hula Festival at Iolani Palace. MGF depends upon grants and donations to cover festival costs.
The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority is the State of Hawai‘i agency responsible for strategically managing its support of the tourism industry. Established in 1998 to support Hawai‘i’s leading industry and largest employer, HTA continually strives to help ensure tourism’s sustainability and the benefits it brings to residents and communities statewide.