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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, May 18, 2001

Moloka'i hula fest offers airport shuttle service

By Vicki Viotti
Advertiser Staff Writer

Dancers from Halau Hula O Kukunaokala, the host hula troupe of Moloka'i Ka Hula Piko, performing at last year's festival in Papohaku Beach Park.

Phil Spalding

Two things happen annually in connection with the Friendly Isle's big, free hula festival, Moloka'i Ka Hula Piko:
  • Kumu hula John Ka'imikaua and his dancers educate the public about the island's cultural history.
  • It gets really tough to catch a ride there, unless you've planned in advance.

Flights to get to Moloka'i in time for the 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. event tomorrow at Papohaku Beach Park were filling up fast by midweek, Island Air, Hawaiian Airlines and Molokai Air Shuttle reported.

Car rental agencies are booked solid, said a spokeswoman for the Moloka'i Visitors Association; however, an airport shuttle to and from the park will run all day, operated by Molokai Off-Road Tours, for $7 per person each way.

Kaimikaua, whose Honolulu hula school Halau Hula O Kukunaokala joins a roster of hula troupes from Hawai'i and Japan, has chosen as the theme of the 11th annual festival: "Ho'ihi'ia o Moloka'i e na 'Aha Kiole (Moloka'i is made sacred by the 'Aha Kiole councils)."

He will conclude a three-day series of free lectures on the topic at 7 tonight at Kulana'oiwi, with attendees to gather at Coffees of Hawai'i. The 'Aha councils were the form of self-governance used by the residents of Moloka'i until the island fell under Maui rule in the 16th century.

But the centerpiece event remains the noncompetitive hula exhibition tomorrow. Entertainment also includes Moloka'i musicians Darrel Labrado and Sterling Kalua, Zachary and Raiatea Helm, Pound 4 Pound and Hawaiian Prime Time.

In addition to Ka'imikaua's students, other hula schools to perform include: Moana's Hula Halau, Halau Hula O Kilohana and Ka 'Ohana Ali'i, all of Moloka'i; and Halau Ka Waikahelani Malie of Kailua, O'ahu.

Information: Moloka'i Visitors Association, 1-800-553-0404.