Sally Jo Manea is thrilled that she will soon hear the ringing of taiko drums across Kapaa.
The Heiva I Kauai organizer will join hundreds of Kauai residents at Kapaa Beach Park for the 14th annual Heiva I Kauai Iorana Tahitian International Dance Competition Saturday and Sunday.
“It’s going to be a great competition,” she said.
Guests will have a chance to see professional drummers and dancers from Hawaii, the Mainland and Japan. A special Oahu group named Te Vai Ura Nui will display their skills through traditional Otea and modern Aparima and Ahupurotu music, drumming and dance for Saturday and Sunday.
“It’s exciting and colorful and fast and skillful and creative and competition is always interesting among athletes,” Manea said. “It’s an opportunity for them.”
The celebration of Tahitian culture will feature a solo competition on Saturday morning and a group competition on Sunday.
The solo competition will begin with the youngest age groups and continue until the championship dance off on Saturday afternoon.
Other activities will also be laid out for visitors to enjoy including an audience Tahitian dance competition where individuals may show off their dance moves with the performers.
There is a coconut weaving contest, silent auction and cultural demonstrations from lauhala weaving to Niihau shell lei making.
Food and crafts will be available.
Gates will open at 9 a.m. Opening ceremonies are at 9:30 a.m.
Admission is $6 and is free for children 6 years old and younger.
Award presentations will occur Sunday afternoon.
“It’s a cultural journey and we’re all in it together,” Manea said. “The more people who value it, the better we’re going to be for our kids.”