Culture and entertainment combined at Kau Wela Festival

Nothing’s more enjoyable than learning while you have fun.

Saturday marks the sixth annual Kau Wela Festival, an event dedicated to educating the public on Hawaiian culture, as well as one that provides entertainment.

Ilima Rivera, festival founder and director, said that learning how to take care of the aina and preserve the Hawaiian culture and tradition is what’s important.

The two-day event kicks off at 10 a.m. at the Kukui Grove Center Stage with free entertainment by musician Heifara and live Tahitian drummers, a solo Tahitian and hula competition, and music by 81-year-old local legend Larry Rivera. A performance by comedian Uncle King Ernie Menehune will also highlight the show. The day’s activities conclude with a dance by Tahitian group Poe’ura Ite Ote’a Mai.

The fun continues for paid attendees Sunday at Kamokila Hawaiian Village with an ukulele competition, canoe rides, Polynesian crafts, Hawaiian food and games, dance performances by Ilima’s Hula Studio, and “Miss All Around Dancer” Tahra-Lee Kaui.

Families are invited to come down and enjoy ono home-cooked Hawaiian treats, or sit and learn from Uncle Charlie Pereira — master of holei ‘upena, or throw-net fishing — about the importance of respecting the land.

Admission to Kamokila Hawaiian Village is $10 for adults and $5 for keiki ages 3 to 12. Gates open at 9 a.m. Sunday with a conch shell and drum ceremony at 10 a.m. The event ends at 3:30 p.m.

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