6 Sunday, April 16, 2017 Hawaii Tribune-Herald 2017 Merrie Monarch Festival Hilo Hosts 54 Years of The Magic of Merrie Monarch! 20 years in a row! 46 Years! Mexican Fiesta Mondays Wack-O-Lamb Wednesdays Lobster Lovers Thursdays Hilo Sturgeon Sundays Pau Hana 2-5pm Sunday Brunch 11am-2pm Seren Atm pher Splendi Scener Sumptuou Dinin NEW! Tiki Bar Live Local Music! Open Daily 11am-10pm www.pondshilo.com 135 Kalanianaole Ave. • 934-7663 (POND) Best Breakfast ~~~ hula kahiko (ancient hula) competition and Saturday night’s group hula ‘auana (modern hula) competition. Ten young women also will compete Thursday evening for Miss Aloha Hula, hula’s preeminent title for a solo dancer. One of the major plotlines going into this year’s competition is opportunity. The 2016 overall and kane (men’s) overall winners, Halau Na Mamo O Pu‘uanahulu, under the direction kumu hula Sonny Ching and Lopaka Igarta-De Vera, will sit out this year’s dance. So will Hilo’s Halau O Ka Ua Kani Lehua, under the direction of kumu hula Johnny Lum Ho, who took the 2016 wahine (women’s) overall title. It would be difficult to pick a clear favorite for the prestigious overall title, but a number of halau figure prominently in the conversation. “We have so many wonderful halau in the Merrie Monarch this year,” Luana Kawelu, the festival’s president, observed. Among returning halau creating a buzz are Halau I Ka Wekiu, under the direction of na kumu hula Karl Veto Baker and Michael Casupang, and Ka Pa Hula O Kauanoe O Wa‘ahila, under the direction of kumu hula Maelia Loebenstein Carter. Baker and Casupang’s halau won a clean sweep in 2012, taking the men’s kahiko and ‘auana, as well as the overall title. They also were the overall winners in 2007. Loebenstein Carter, the scion of one of hula’s greatest families and Miss Aloha Hula 1993, provided expert commentary for the live televised broadcast of the Merrie Monarch the past few years, but returns with her wahine to the competition with the halau founded by her grandmother, the legendary Mae Ulalia Long Loebenstein. Window From page 3 See WINDOW Page 9 HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald Kumu hula Sonny Ching and Lopaka Igarta-De Vera of Halau Na Mamo O Pu‘uanahulu accept the award for overall winner during the 2016 Merrie Monarch Festival.
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