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Hawaii (Big) Island
Article Source: Copyright © 2012 by Fodor’s Travel, a division of Random House Inc. All rights reserved.
This resort lights its torches for a spectacular show and an oceanfront buffet four times a week. It's also one of a handful of luaus on the island that features food cooked in a traditional underground imu (oven). A fire-knife dancer caps off the show. Prices are cheaper if you book ahead. www.royalkona.com.
On the graceful grounds of the Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay, this luau takes you on a journey of song and dance, highlighted by a dramatic fire-knife finale. Before the show, you can participate in workshops on topics ranging from coconut-frond weaving to poi ball techniques. The excellent buffet features a feast of local favorites like kalua pig, poi, and ahi poke. Generous refills on the mai tais don't hurt, either. www.sheratonkeauhou.com.
The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel's weekly clambake features an extensive menu that includes oysters on the half shell, Manila clams, Dungeness crab legs, sashimi, and Keahole lobster. There's even prime rib for meat lovers and a dessert station. Live Hawaiian music is often accompanied by a graceful hula dancer. www.maunakeabeachhotel.com.
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.
On the oceanfront North Pointe Luau Grounds of the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, you can sample the best of island cuisine while listening to the music and hula of the renowned Lim family. Held every Tuesday and Friday, it includes an amazing fire-knife dance, spirited chanting, and traditional hula. You can relax under the stars and enjoy a traditional feast of kalua pig roasted in an underground oven. www.maunakeabeachhotel.com.
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