Categorized | Entertainment

Concert remembers former Hulihee palace resident; stroll follows



The Daughters of Hawaii and the Calabash Cousins present a free concert 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 15 at Hulihee Palace to remember the late Princess Ruth Keelikolani. 

Performances by Merrie Monarchs and Kumu Hula Etua Lopes and his Halau Na Pua Ui O Hawaii.  Bring a beach mat or chair as seating won’t be provided.

Princess Ruth (1826-1883) was the half-sister of King Kamehameha IV and V. She inherited Hulihee after the death of her husband, William Pitt Leleiohoku; he was the adopted son of John Adams Kuakini. Kuakini built the palace after erecting Mokuaikaua Church, which faces the palace on Alii Drive.

A tall woman of great girth, Princess Ruth outlived all of her husbands and children. Ancient Hawaiians, who were known for their statuesque presence, saw beauty in great size. 

“Ruth used the palace for entertaining her royal kin but preferred to sleep in a grass house she had built on the palace grounds,” said Fanny Au Hoy, palace administrator.  “During Ruth’s time of ownership, the palace was often visited by her sister-in-law, Queen Emma. The monarchs considered Hulihee a lovely vacation spot away from the diplomatic pressures in Honolulu.” 

Hulihee Palace has been closed for repairs since December 2007; the historic landmark suffered $1.5 million in damages from the October 2006 earthquake. It is expected to reopen this spring. 

Concert goers are encouraged to take advantage of the free “chair check” across from the palace and enjoy the Kokua Kailua Village Stroll from 1-6 p.m. 

During the Village Stroll, Alii Drive is turned into a pedestrian mall and musicians and artists take to the street in a fun and festive family atmosphere. 

Participating merchants include Honu Hut, Splashers Grill, Eclectic Craftsman, Pikake Beads, Kona Henna Studio, CC Whispers Gallery, Sweetheart Candy Company, Scandinavian Shave Ice, Elementz Design, Colors of Paradise Gallery, Kona Henna, Alley Geckos, Hawaii Healing Ohana, Trudy’s Island Arts, Lani’s Floral Shop, Kona Gifts of Hawaii, Big Island Kine, Hawaiian Pacific Products, Hawaii Cruisers, and Kona Rock & Mineral.

The next Hulihee Palace Concert & Village Stroll date is Sunday, March 15.

Kokua Kailua is sponsored by the Kailua Village Business Improvement District,  Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, Destination Kona Coast, Kailua Village Merchants Association, Hulihee Palace and KWXX radio. The program is designed to rally support for merchants and restaurants and to remind residents to shop, dine and buy local.

Each Kokua Kailua event needs volunteers to assist with set-up and tear down.  To help volunteer, call co-chairwomen Marie Aguilar at 334-0562 or Inde Coggin at 329-9694.

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