By Catherine Cluett Pactol
This year’s Festivals of Aloha weekend brought together visitors and locals, paddlers and politicians to enjoy a rich tradition of cultural heritage on Molokai. Friday night featured cooking contests, talent shows, hula, a hypnotist demonstration and other entertaining and educational displays. The evening also highlighted the investiture of the royal court, when this year’s ali`i are crowned. Pictured here are Moi Kane Kaimana William Yaw, Moi Wahine Kahulu`aina`olea`iwalani Lehuamakanoe Hodges Peltier-Yaw, Kamalii Kane Kuikamoku Han, Kamalii Wahine Wahn Hi`ilani Kanuha, Kalaimoku Kuhoupio Dudoit Jr., Kahu Ana Maie Kahealani Nip, Ukali Kawaikapu English, Kaula Kane Nahulu Maioho, Pulo`ulo`u Edward Keanuenue English Jr., Ali`i ai Moku Kane Dextor Kapulolo Robang Ibaan and Dickenson Maunulei Stone, Ula`ula Kahili Bearers Sean Ellis and Joshua Kawikaokalani Pastrana and pu blower Rylan Nuesca.
Saturday morning brought closure of Kaunakakai’s main street for the annual parade. Each year, the event brings families together to watch the Pa`u Queen, island princesses, paddlers, local organizations and clubs and politicians march through downtown with colorful attire and elaborate floats. Pictured here, McKenzie Kamakina o Hoku Nerveza represented Lanai, Daisy Paleka donned the gray of Kaho`olawe and Hauoli Lereneo-Ulii symbolized Oahu, joining other young women of Molokai in representing each island on a spectacular float. The parade was led by Grand Marshall Pilipo Solatorio of Halawa Valley. Other groups included Punana Leo preschool, and Molokai High School’s Cheer and Dance Squad, both pictured.
As Hawaii Governor David Ige told the crowd, “Nobody does it like Molokai.”