Hōkūleʻa to Return to Birthplace During Hakipuʻu Canoe Festival

Fans of Hōkūleʻa will have a unique opportunity to visit and wish her a Happy Birthday this week Saturday at the 9th Annual Kualoa/Hakipuʻu Canoe Festival. The festival, which celebrates Hawaiʻi’s love for canoes and canoe culture, began as a way to pay tribute to Hōkūleʻa during her birthday week.

This year’s celebration, which is always free and open to the public, will showcase Bobby Puakea a master canoe builder and canoe paddle-maker. The educational voyaging canoe, Kanehunamoku, will host educational booths, activities and demonstrations to share their knowledge along with a variety of sailing vessels on display. The Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) will have a number of crewmembers on-hand who will be providing open house tours of Hōkūleʻa and demonstrations of how to use the stars to navigate.

“Beyond a celebration of our culture and tradition of waʻa (traditional canoes), this is an opportunity for our younger generation of crewmembers to shine,” said PVS President Nainoa Thompson. “Young voyagers from various organization will have an opportunity to inspire hundreds from the public – many who are youth. This is an indication of a thriving and growing culture committed to education and the environment, which is truly something to celebrate.”

The Festival is hosted by Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation (Director Nekota and Deputy Director Ishikawa will be in attendance) in partnership with participating organizations including Bobby Puakea and the Puakea Foundation, Hawaiian Ocean Adventure, Kanehunamoku Voyaging Academy, Polynesian Voyaging Society, Hakipuʻu Learning Center, Windward Community College, Wounded Warriors, and Calvin Hoe.

Launched from the sacred shores of Kualoa in Kāneʻohe Bay, Oʻahu, on March 8, 1975, Hōkūleʻa helped begin a generation of renewal for Hawaiʻi’s people. Along with the revitalization of Polynesian voyaging and navigation traditions, Hōkūleʻa introduced a newfound respect and appreciation for Hawaiian culture and language in the state of Hawaiʻi and beyond. Tomorrow, she will be 43 years old.

9th Annual Kualoa/Hakipuʻu Canoe Festival

Saturday, March 10, 2018, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Kualoa Regional Park

10 a.m. – Opening Ceremony
Remarks from Honolulu Parks and Recreation Director Michele K. Nekota; overview of Polynesian navigation and sailing by representatives from the Polynesian Voyaging Society.

10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m – Canoe Activities
View and tour sailing and paddling canoes including Hōkūleʻa, Kanehunamoku and others. Visit education booths, engage in navigation and sailing-related activities, learn from master canoe builders including Bobby Puakea. Interact with various canoe clubs and voyaging organizations.

2:15 p.m. Closing Ceremony
Final words from hosts and event organizers and an invitation to join with ongoing canoe-related efforts across the State of Hawaiʻi.

The Kualoa/Hakipuʻu Canoe Festival is an official stop of Hōkūleʻa’s Mahalo, Hawaiʻi Sail.

Hōkūleʻa at Hakipuʻu, June 2017

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