Polynesian Festival kicks off four-day run Thursday

LIHU‘E — Members of Atooi Marama under Kapu Kinimaka-Alquiza spent their last day practicing indoors Tuesday at The Jam Room at Kukui Grove Center.

As the Tahitian drums rumbled and rolled, shoppers peered above the painted veil of the room’s windows as the dancers worked their routines.

“Wednesday we’re at Vidinha Stadium,” Kinimaka-Alquiza told the group. “Everything happens this weekend.”

Doors to the 11th Annual Kaua‘i Polynesian Festival open tonight starting at 5 p.m. at the Kaua‘i Community College Performing Arts Center with a “Polynesian Evening of Stars” including the pertinent Polynesian protocol ceremonies, music, a special guest, and wrapping up with the “U Tink U Get Talent” contest.

From Friday through Sunday, the Festival moves to the Vidinha Stadium soccer fields with gates opening from 11:30 a.m. through the night for a variety of Tahitian, Maori, Samoan and Hawaiian entertainment, the “Polynesian Experience,” which is a hands-on arts and crafts activity, a Polynesian farmer’s market, solo and group dance competitions, Hawaiian games, food, workshops, water slides and other activities.

During the “Polynesian Experience,” festival goers can learn weaving techniques utilizing the fronds of both the coconut and hala trees, how to husk a coconut, fire-making and spear throwing, hula, making a ti leaf lei and how to tie a pareau, or sarong, in the Polynesian style.

The festival is open to both residents and visitors with an entrance fee of $10 for each day, or a special $25 Friday-through-Sunday pass. Children below 8 years old are admitted free.

Visit www.kauaipolynesianfestival.org for more information or call Kinimaka-Alquiza at 335-6466.

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