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Merrie Monarch Festival
The mother of all Big Island festivals, the Merrie Monarch celebrates all things hula and completely overtakes Hilo for one fantastic weekend a year. The highly popular event honors the legacy of King David Kalakaua, the man responsible for reviving fading Hawaiian cultural traditions such as hula. The festival is staged at the spacious Edith Kanakaole Tennis Stadium during the first week following Easter Sunday. Hula halau (studios) compete in kahiko (ancient) and auana (modern) dance styles. You need to reserve accommodations up to a year in advance. Ticket requests must be mailed in advance after December 26 of the preceding year. www.merriemonarchfestival.org.