Honoring the Culture, Cuisine and Music of Ni’ihau at the Princess Ka’iulani Keiki Fest
Opening ceremonies for the annual Princess Ka’iulani Keiki Fest will be held on Friday, October 19th , 2012 at the Hawaiian Congregational Church in Hanapepe Town. Ceremonies will begin at 6:30 p.m. and include special hula performances by Halau Ka Lei Mokihana O Leina’ala honoring the beloved ancestors of Ni’ihau. Bag pipes and storytellers will honor the spirit and memory of Princess Victoria Ka’iulani on the eve of her event for Hawai’i’s Keiki. As a part of the Friday evening festivities a special award will be given to Stella Burgess, Manager of Hawaiian Culture at the Grand Hyatt Kaua’i Resort and Spa in Po’ipu for her life long passion of preserving the Hawaiian Culture on Kaua’i.
The Ni’ihau Village will be open on Saturday, October 20, 2012 from 10am to 4pm in Hanapepe Park. This is a very special exhibit that you will not want to miss, because never before has there been an event that honors the culture, cuisine, and music of Ni’ihau for old and young alike.
Ni’ihauan culture is a rich fabric of family histories that includes deep relationships with Kaua`i families. To give participants a better understanding of Ni’ihau and the simple life of its inhabitants, Hanapepe Park will be completely transformed into a Ni’ihau Village by Kula Aupuni Ni’ihau a Kahelelani Aloha, a public charter school in Kekaha. For the Uirst time, the public will be able to gain unique insight about the people of Ni’ihau and experience how they live, what they eat, and the cherished traditions they follow. The Ni’ihau Village will also feature unique foods, family activities and craft demonstrations like lei making, Ni’ihau style.
The Princess Ka’iulani Keiki Festival is presented by the Storybook Theatre of Hawai’i. This family friendly event honors the life of Princess Ka’iulani and the role
that she played in a critical time in Hawaiian history. The festival also has deep roots in the promotion of literacy and was once known as the Kaua’i Keiki Story Fest. In fact, the festival is held in October in conjunction with National Book Month. To perpetuate this important component, celebrity readers from the Kauaʻi Children’s Authors Guild will be reading and signing their books, conducting educational activities, and interacting with children at this event.
The day long Keiki Fest offers a full day of family fun throughout the festival grounds that includes: Hawaiian cultural activities, performances by local hula halau, celebrity story readers, Princess Ka’iulani’s costumed children’s street parade, a Hanapepe Town scavenger hunt sponsored by the PMRF Youth Center, a coloring and essay contest, children’s arts and crafts, a keiki talent show as well as food and family friendly vendor booths. Of course, this festival would not be complete without the entrance of the Princess and the Princess’ Birthday Party. Representation from local schools will showcase projects in progress and service and civic organizations will be on-‐hand to offer family resources. This event is free and open to the public.