Honoring Queen Emma

The 28th annual Eo e Emalani i Alaka‘i Festival is 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday on the Kanaloahuluhulu Meadow at Kokee State Park.

The festival will celebrate a day of history and hula while honoring the memory of Queen Emma.

“Queen Emma was a resilient woman, with considerable skills and talents, a great leader of her people,” said Wai Kuapahi, Hui o Laka trustee who portrayed the queen at the 2009 festival.

Yvonne Hosaka will portray Queen Emma while her daughter, Kaleiui Hosaka, will serve as her Lady in Waiting.

Live music will begin at 10 a.m. A special ceremony will commence at 11 a.m., as “Wahine U‘i,” a song composed for this occasion will play, and the Queen will ride into the meadow accompanied by her guide Kaluahi, portrayed by Norman Hookano, the Hawaiian hunter and cowboy who guided the royal horseback party over rough slippery terrain.

“When the Queen and her entourage arrive, the crowd instinctively feels something profound is happening,” said Michelle Hookano, a museum staffer. “The spirit of Queen Emma will come to the mountains once again.”

Halau from across the state, featuring two groups from the Mainland, will participate in chants and dances until 4 p.m.

The festival includes exhibits, craft tables, silent auction and a snack shop.

Parking is limited, so carpooling is recommended. A free bus will be provided by the E.H.W. Broadbent Foundation and will leave the Kekaha Neighborhood Center at 8 a.m. and again at 9,

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