Kaua‘i Kau Wela Summer Festival opens Thursday

The public is invited to the first Kaua‘i Kau Wela Summer Festival parade, said Ilima Rivera, director of the festival.

This is the first year a parade is being featured at the Kaua‘i Kau Wela Summer Festival 2011, which starts Thursday at the Kamokila Hawaiian Village with the opening ceremony.

The parade starts at 10 a.m. Saturday fronting Times Supermarket at the Kukui Grove Center.

Rivera said the event, which runs Thursday through Saturday, will include Tahitian and Hawaiian activities, song, dance, crafts, games and lots of prizes.

“This festival was created in honor of Kaua‘i, its people and the bountiful cultural traditions we all share,” Rivera said in a release. “During these economic times, we are so honored to be able to share the natural talents of Kaua‘i’s kama‘aina.”

Thursday’s ceremonies at the Kamokila Hawaiian Village open with music at 10 a.m. leading to the arrival of the Wa‘a Kaulua, or double canoe, with Punohu the Warrior and Ilima the Chanter.

At the docking, a blessing for Kaua‘i and a new beginning of summer will take place.

Larry Rivera, Ilima’s dad, and Ernie Menehune are scheduled to participate in the opening ceremonies.

There is an admission charge for the Kamokila event, which is $8 for adults and $3 for children. Children under 5 years old are admitted free.

There is no admission for the Friday through Saturday events which move to the Kukui Grove Center.

Tepairu Manea, a Tahitian master drummer, will be featured along with Kaua‘i Kau Wela House Drummers, Ernie Menehune, and various hula and Tahitian groups from around the island.

Kona-Kai Wilson, the Miss Kaua‘i 2011, is expected to make an appearance at the event which features a special Larry and Ilima Rivera show, starting at 7 p.m. Friday.

The festival continues Saturday with the parade and will feature solo hula and freestyle Tahitian competition highlighted with Hawaiian and Polynesian crafters and vendors.

Call Ilima at 822-5929 for more information.

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