Kaua‘i Mokihana Festival starts today

Now in its 19th year, the Kaua‘i Mokihana Festival has expanded to a week-long celebration of Native Hawaiian culture and values with venues throughout the island. Grants, large and small, have continued to come in to support the festival, in addition to corporate sponsorships and many thousands of in-kind donations and volunteers over the years.

Major sponsors include the County of Kaua‘i, the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, the Alexander & Baldwin Foundation and Queen Liliu‘okulani Children’s Center.

Today at 10 a.m. a church service is planned at the Kapa‘a First Hawaiian Church with the Rev. Richard Kamanu and his congregation holding a service featuring music and hula, in English and Hawaiian. The roots of the church go back to Queen Debora Kapule who started a Protestant Church at Wailua in the mid-1800s.

At 6 p.m. a Slack Key & Hawaiian Instrumental Competition is scheduled for the Hyatt Regency Kaua‘i Resort. There is a $10 admission for this unique musical experience that features unique Hawaiian instrumental enthusiasts and practitioners. The competition is for acoustic instruments. For tickets call 240-6369.

Monday night at 7 p.m. the Kaua‘i Composers Contest and Concert, a highlight of the festival, is being held at the Kaua‘i Community College Performing Arts Center. The event is sponsored by A&B Foundation and admission is $10. Now in its 19th year, this event encourages the composition of new music through its various categories. These categories are: Hawaiian (songs must be written in the Hawaiian language), contemporary Hawaiian, open, professional and youth (ages 13 – 20). Trophies and cash prizes are awarded.

The festival continues through Saturday. For more information go to the festival’s Web site at http://www.kauai.net/mokihana. The KMF Hotline is 822-2166.

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