The three-day annual Festivals of Aloha begins tonight for Molokai with the investiture of royal court.
It all starts at 5:30 p.m. with Ohana Night. Sweet potato, taro and ulu judging contests will take place with first and second places awarded for taste and presentation. Music from Molokai featuring Roy/Waipa begins at 6 p.m.
All events will take place around the Mitchell Pau’ole Center in Kaunakakai.
Around 6:30 p.m. begins the official investiture and opening of the festival. Different halau will then perform, including April Kealoha of Molokai, Moana’s Halau of Molokai and Moana’s Halau of Japan. Lono, from Molokai, will also perform.
An aloha wear pageant will also be held later tonight. From 8:30-9 p.m. is the closing featuring New Zealand. Sweet potato award announcements will be made in between performances.
Friday evening, as usual, will be Youth Night from 6-10 p.m. It will feature a poki judging contest from 6-6:30 p.m. All dishes must be ready for judging by 5:45 p.m. Kala Bishaw plus 2, of Molokai, will then perform.
Amy Gilliom, of Maui, originally scheduled to perform tonight, will be playing Friday evening. From 7-7:35 p.m. on Friday will be a talent show. This is followed by the Irie Alert Band of Molokai. Then, Ryan Hiraoka from the Big Island will perform from 8:45-10 p.m. Poki judging will be announced between performances.
Saturday begins with the Aloha Week parade starting at 9 a.m. in Kaunakakai. Check out the royalty and the choke floats cruising down Ala Malama Avenue. At 11 a.m. begins the bed races at the Mitchell Pau’ole Center. The ho’olaulea begins at noon and keeps going until 4 p.m.
There will be a cook off on Saturday, all dishes must be in by 1 p.m. Contestants from Paddlers’ Inn, Hotel Molokai, the Cookhouse and Maka’s Corner are expected to participate.
Performances on Saturday include the Maui Community Band at 11:30 a.m., Moke Boy at noon, Kuana Torres at 1 p.m. and Sean Naauao starting at 2:15 p.m. Air Force performs from 3:15-4 p.m.
This year’s theme is “E Hi`ipoi i Ka Lei Aloha” (cherished is the beloved child). The event was helped by a $5,000 grant from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for Moana’s Hula Halau.