Lei O Lanikuhonua Hula Festival

It’s a hula festival unlike any other. First, there are no prizes to be won. And there are no competing hula halau. Rather, it’s a gift of hula masters coming together to share their knowledge with high school hula students in a one-day celebration of Hawaiian culture and dance. Since the first festival in 2007, the Lei O Lanikuhonua Hula Festival has grown in stature and popularity.  In 2010, the event drew more than 90 students from 10 public and private schools.  By 2014, that number had tripled to 279 students.  For this coming year’s event, it is estimated that 500 students will be participating in the Lei O Lanikuhonua Hula Festival.   

“This Festival is special because it reaches into the past to Kamokila Campbell’s dream of having children come to this beautiful place at Lanikuhonua to learn about Hawaiian culture, and especially our mele,” said kumu hula Olana A’i. “It also reaches into the future, as these young people take this experience into their hearts and lives.”

Lauhoe O Lanikuhonua Canoe Festival

Inspired by the spirit behind the hula festival, Campbell family members had an idea to adapt the festival concept for an annual Lanikuhonua canoe festival. In 2009, organizers created the Lauhoe O Lanikuhonua Canoe Festival as a non-competitive event to teach high school students already in paddling programs about the importance of the canoe to Hawaiians and Polynesians.

“We realized that most paddling coaches are not cultural experts as are kumu hula, so we wanted our festival to open the eyes of the kids to the world of the canoe from the point of view of its history and culture,” said the festival’s lead organizer Billy Philpotts. “We want to engage and inspire them in a way that will connect them to their island home and culture.”

Well-known experts from the canoe world share their knowledge of the history of canoe culture, canoe building, and navigation, and give students the hands-on experience of building canoe models.

An evening of Mele & Hula at Lanikuhonua

What better way to spend a mellow Sunday evening than enjoying Mele & Hula at Lanikuhonua. This annual summer concert series celebrating Hawaiian song and dance is sponsored by the James & Abigail Campbell Family Foundation, the James Campbell Company and Lanikuhonua Cultural Institute.

“One of the Foundation’s priorities is to perpetuate and encourage the practice of Hawaiian culture, and this concert is just one more way to share it by bringing the community together to celebrate the beauty of our mele and hula,” said Wendy Crabb, president of the Foundation.

The concert series showcases Hawai’i’s performing artists, musicians, and hula halau in a gala evening under the stars.