Kaua`i Polynesian Festival Illustrates the Business of Culture

Culture, festivals positively impact economy

LIHU`E, Hawai`i, April 25, 2005 – The Kamanawa Foundation’s 5th Annual Kaua`i Polynesian Festival
coming soon on May 26 through May 29 presents a colorful variety of cultural offerings, including dance
competitions, crafts, food, workshops, and other entertainment. Along with the sand, sea, and surf, culture
activities, such as this, attract visitors to Hawai`i each year and positively contribute to the economy.
In 2002, 81 percent of visitors to Hawai`i from the U.S. and 50.8 percent of visitors from Japan
participated in a cultural activity, including visiting a historic site, museum/art gallery, Polynesian show/luau,
art/craft fair, or festival, during their stays, according to “The State of Hawai`i Data Book 2003.”
“The Kaua`i Polynesian Festival provides a combination of most of these activities,” stated Kapu
Kinimaka-Alquiza, director of the Kaua`i Polynesian Festival. “Visitors and residents alike will be able to
experience an array of traditions and customs from participating in a Samoan fire knife dancing workshop to
watching a hula competition to eating ono delights from our food vendors.”
The results of a Hawai`i Tourism Authority survey indicate that more than 250 visitors to Kaua`i attended
the Kaua`i Polynesian Festival last year. Fifty-seven of these visitors, or 25 percent of the total attendees, came
from out of state and spent an estimated $114,000 in Hawai`i, generating $15,000 in state taxes.
Kinimaka-Alquiza, who is also Kumu hula of Na Hula ‘O Kaohikukapulani, has the support of some of
Hawaii’s best dance teachers from places like the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu’s North Shore, where all
facets of Polynesian culture have been on display since the sixties. “The Hawai`i Data Book 2003” notes that the
Polynesian Cultural Center yielded an attendance of more than 750,000 in 2003.

“We’re happy that the business of culture, and in turn the Kaua`i Polynesian Festival, provides an
economic benefit to our state, in addition to sharing and celebrating island history and our way of life with the
global community,” said Kinimaka-Alquiza. “We encourage everyone to join us at the event. It’s sure to be fun
and exciting.”
Festivities kick off Thursday, May 26, at 6 p.m. at the Radisson Kaua`i Beach Resort with a lavish dinner
buffet and pulsating Polynesian dance at its finest, performed by experts in the traditional style of the islands,
complete with authentic costumes, music and royal ceremonial protocol.
But that’s just the beginning. On Friday, May 27, at noon, gates open at the Kukui Grove Park Pavilion in
Lihu`e, and the festival kicks into high gear with a gastronomic extravaganza of island foods, authentic arts and
crafts, and events for children. In the afternoon, a Polynesian fashion show at the Grove’s center stage is followed
by a welcoming ceremony of the host culture, Hawai`i, for the representatives of New Zealand.
The Maori contingent reciprocates with powerful chants and prayers of their native New Zealand, followed
by action and “poi ball” dance competition. The Hawaiian Hula competition follows with groups of various ages
performing ancient Kahiko dance and more modern Auwana dance.
The show goes on Saturday and Sunday, with early morning workshops for those who want to learn more
about the intricacies of Tahitian, Samoan, Hawaiian and Maori dance and culture. By the evening, the books are
put away and pageantry begins again on Saturday, May 28, with competitions showcasing Samoan dance and
culture. Tahitian-focused competition happens Sunday, May 29, culminating in an award ceremony for everyone
who took part in the event.
Tickets are $8 at the gate each day, or $15 for all three days. All early morning workshops are $15 each.
The opening dinner on May 26 is $50 and includes entertainment, food and drink. Tickets can be purchased at
Scotty’s Music, Progressive Expressions, Deli & Bread Connection, Larry’s Music Center, Hula Girl Restaurant,
Eggberts, Hanalei Surf Co., Western Motors, and at the door.

Sponsors for the event include, B&B Tahitian Pearls, County of Kaua`i, Hawaiian Airlines, Hawai`i
Tourism Authority, Hawai`i Visitors Bureau, Hilo Hattie’s, Kukui Grove Shopping Center, Lomi Records,
Polynesian Cultural Center, Radisson Kaua`i Beach Resort, The JK Show, and Wala`au.
Established in 1994, the Kamanawa Foundation is a Kaua`i-based non-profit organization. Its mission is
to preserve, promote and perpetuate the Native Hawaiian culture, including the language, social values, arts,
crafts and music, primarily through the study of hula. The Kamanawa Foundation hosts three annual events that
highlight hula and Polynesian performing arts including the Kaua`i Polynesian Festival, Holiday Hula Celebration,
and Kaua`i Hula Exhibition.
For more information about the Kaua`i Polynesian Festival, visit www.kauai-polyfest.com or call (808)
335-6466.