Merrie Monarch Festivals 2016 Ho’ike night

Merrie Monarch Festivals 2016 Ho'ike night

Merrie Monarch Festivals 2016 Ho’ike night


The entire week of Merrie Monarch festivals in Hilo, Hawaii celebrates everything focused on hula dance, art and other creative performances. Many of the Hilo performance venues are free and open to the public except for the competition night events which are always in demand and sold out a year in advance. For those without tickets to the competitions, the free demonstration performance on Wednesday night called the Ho’ike is one of the must see and free spectacular events offered at the festivals. Since it is free, a line starts early in the day and winds around the performance stadium and snakes through the parking lot. But for those who wait patiently it is a performance not to be missed.


Edith Kanakaole stadium Merrie Monarch Festivals 2016 Ho'ike night


Ho’ike night begins with the royal court arrival


Royal court arrival at Merrie Monarch Festivals 2016 Ho'ike night


Typically the dance performance celebrates hula but also special performances from traditional dance around the world and this Ho’ike event included quite a variety including: a traditional hula called Kahiko, a dance troup from Taiwan performing their colorful tribal dance, a Tahitian performance group from California, and last an amazing performance of traditional dance from New Zealand.


Taiwanese tribal performance at Ho’ike night

Taiwanese tribal performance at Merrie Monarch Festivals 2016 Ho'ike night


Hawaiian traditional Kahiko performance at Ho’ike night


Hawaiian traditional Kahiko performance at Merrie Monarch Festivals 2016 Ho'ike night





New Zealand Haka performance at Merrie Monarch Festivals 2016 Ho'ike night

Here are some of the highlights that I have put together in video of the performance


Considering this was shot entirely from my Samsung cell phone and I did a lot of zooming to focus on the performances, it still turned out pretty good don’t you think?  The Merry Monarch festival is one of the biggest events celebrated all week long on the Big Island of Hawaii, this is definitely an event you should do and place on your bucket list of once in a lifetime experiences.

Thanks for visiting today and checking out this post on Merrie Monarch Festivals 2016 Ho’ike night, hope the video and photos will inspire you to visit Hilo, Hawaii and a Merrie Monarch festival in the future. If you enjoyed the images and post, could you please share it with any of the social media buttons located around the post.

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15 Responses to Merrie Monarch Festivals 2016 Ho’ike night

  1. Uncover Your Caribbean April 13, 2016 at 4:33 am #

    Those colors are just stunning! Adding to our “to see and do in HI list”

  2. Lindsay Nieminen April 11, 2016 at 1:19 pm #

    Looks like a fun day (except maybe the waiting in line part) ! While i have never been to Hilo, i have seen many Polynesian Performances on Oahu and in the South Pacific and i enjoy them every time!

  3. Mags April 10, 2016 at 8:31 pm #

    I’ve never been to Hawaii, but I would love to go and see this tradition live. It’s such a cool and unique culture.

  4. Christina April 10, 2016 at 4:11 pm #

    I didn’t know about this festival when we visited Hilo. When I was there, though, I was able to witness traditional hula dancing. It was definitely very entertaining.

  5. Fiona Maclean April 10, 2016 at 4:38 am #

    Fabulous photography as always Noel. It looks fascinating!!! Merrie Monarch sounds like something from medieval Britain!

  6. Tess Andrade April 9, 2016 at 11:33 pm #

    I have never seen a hula performed live – it must be quite a performance! I remember when we travelled to New Zealand and we went to watch the haka – it sent shivers down my spine! It was beautiful to watch! I would love to travel to Hawaii and see this one day. I can’t believe you took those photographs with a cellphone…really good!

  7. Bernard Tan April 9, 2016 at 4:40 pm #

    Very nice post! I love the Taiwanese tribal performance, I should had visit the tribals when I was in Taiwan.

  8. Monika April 9, 2016 at 12:35 pm #

    Beautiful dresses – I guess it must have been really good when watched live!

  9. MariaAbroad April 9, 2016 at 10:08 am #

    I have never been to Hawaii and while I’ve seen the stereotypical Hula Dancers in the hotel brochures, I did not know that there was Merrie Monarch festival focusing on Hula dances. I would love to see this one day. Very interesting and I am sure a very cool experience to watch this.

  10. Andi April 9, 2016 at 7:04 am #

    I have been to Hawaii several times in the past two years and I absolutely loved Hilo. I went back twice and will go there again soon. It is an amazing town and I love the people there – and of course the food! I will definitely have to try to plan my trip around this festival as it looks like a fun evening!

  11. Kimberly Erin @ April 9, 2016 at 4:30 am #

    omg so cool I would love to do this, I am 100% sure it would be fun….also…is that a haka at the end of the video!?

  12. john April 2, 2016 at 8:46 am #

    thanks for sharing the photos. Never heard of these festivals but they are fun to watch.

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  13. Rhonda Albom April 1, 2016 at 1:12 pm #

    I am stunned that you did this on your phone. Great photos.

  14. Hung Thai April 1, 2016 at 10:45 am #

    Beautiful! So colorful and powerful. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Donna Janke April 1, 2016 at 4:54 am #

    I’ve not heard of the Merrie Monarch festivals, but it looks like a lot of fun. And yes I am impressed by the quality of the video you got with your phone.

I look forward to hearing from you and continuing our discussion with any comment you would like to add

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