LIHUE — From taiko drummers to a Filipino dance troupe to even zumba, downtown Lihue will once again celebrate the island’s diverse cultural community tonight and tomorrow at the park area in front of the Historic County Building.
“What we’re doing here is the second Hot Kauai Nights,” said Rhan Honjo, event organizer. “We decided to put one together and have the community come out and enjoy it.”
Running from 5:30 to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Hot Kauai Nights 2 is a free event that supports the Kauai Sailing Association, will feature the last bon dance of the year and to help increase the number of volunteers on the island.
“Anything to strengthen our mission really helps, which I believe is really important,” said Shale Shore, Kauai Sailing Association executive director. “Bringing to the people of Kauai, we let anyone sale — regardless of age, economic status, position in life. It’s something we want to bring to everyone.”
Money buckets will be provided throughout the event for anyone willing to donate to the association.
“The second half of the evening, we have bon dance,” Honjo said. “Anybody can come into the ring and dance.”
Aside from Japanese cultural dances, Hot Kauai Nights will also have the Filipino dance troupe, Bailes de Jose Dance Troupe, and the Kauai Powwow Council.
“t’s not just bon dance. It’s everything,” Honjo said. “We want people to come by, participate, hang out, enjoy themselves. If they have a kimono, yukata, wear them. If they have malos, bring that too. It’s a culture thing.”
Also welcome are nonprofits.
Already committed to the event are the American Red Cross, and the Kauai Humane Society.
One of the motivating factors behind this event is the shrinking pool of volunteers in the community and the retiring of those that have carried on the cultural traditions of the first immigrants to Hawaii, Honjo said.
“By creating an event such as this, we hope to increase volunteerism amongst our community’s youth and help our new community members to meld into the culture that is Kauai.”
Shore added: “It’s a really great opportunity for people not only enjoy themselves, but also get a chance of what nonprofits are out there in the community. It’s a great community event all around.”
Food vendors will be at the event both nights.
For more information call Rhan at (808) 634-7498.