Kailua Town Party

HMI at the I Love Hula stage

Kailua has held a town party for 15 years, but that party has never included a venue dedicated to the chant, dance, and music of its first people. Things changed this year -- year 16 -- thanks to the collaborative efforts of a certain kumu hula and officials of the Kāne‘ohe Ranch, the Harold K. L, Castle Foundation, and First Hawaiian Bank. The result was an almost non-stop, 10 am to 3:30 pm celebration of hula by seven Kailua-based kumu (Māpuana, Ka‘anohi Aipa, Lehua Carvalho, Wanda Akiu, Donna Sylvester, Adah Enos, and Chinky Māhoe), more than 300 of their students, and a lawn full of enthusiastic families and friends. Yes, keiki, the cement was hot and the grass was itchy at the "I Love Hula" stage, but we managed to have a great time anyway. We do love both: Kailua and hula . . . And plans are already in the works for improving the setting of next yearʻs event.