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Planning a visit to Kauai? We regularly add news and information about events, activities, and places to see on The Garden Isle.

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Sheila Heathcote has lived in Hawaii since 1986. She's a published author on the topic of Kauai and the owner of Hale O Nanakai Bed & Breakfast.

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Emmalani Festival at Koke'e in 22nd year

Step into history and become part of Queen Emma's entoruage who rode horseback from her summer home in Lawai Valley to the Alakai Swamp in 1871. Since its inception in 1988, Eo e Emalani I Alaka’i (also called the Emalani Festival) has quietly become one of the most authentic and powerful Hawaiian cultural experiences in the State.

Each year, for the past 24 years, Koke'e Natural History Museum has honored the Queen's historic trek with a day long celebration of hula performances and Hawaiian music.Each year,kumu hula (hula masters) and their dancers help to create an event that has touched thousands, many of whom return annually to participate.

Saturday, October 13 is the date for this glorious spectacle. Live Hawaiian music, along with historical displays, begin at 10 am and at 12 noon, “Queen Emma” enters Kanaloahuluhulu Meadow on horseback, led by her guide Kaluahi, represented by a local cowboy. Offering of dance are made by hula halau from across Hawaii. Hula groups from Europe andJapanhave also jouneyed to Kaua ito participate.

By focusing each year on a diferent aspect of the Queen’s inspiring legacy as a humanitarian leader, the Emalani Festival affords participants and audience an opportunity to reflect on values of a great leader who took the land to heart.

Come early and stay late. Bring a beach chair or blanket and camera. This is the real deal. You won't see hula like this unless you go to the Merry Monarch Festival.

For more info call (808) 335-9975. (Photos courtesy of Kokee Museum)