Bring Your Celebration Over Here!

I’ve had 30 years of going to parties, celebrations, weddings, etc back in my hometown in N.C., and did enjoy most of them (have to tell the truth here….). Of course I came from a smallish town where there was little to no flair. Well, flair is one thing that is NOT lacking here in the Hawaiian Islands. And this seems to envelop almost every activity I’ve seen go on, whether I’ve been in attendance or just an outside observer. When I first lived in Waikiki and was out and about the beach all day I watched many weddings, reunions, celebrations go on and saw how, by just being in the islands, with the wonderful weather, the tall palm trees,

This past weekend I was invited to a party given by a friend of mine who was celebrating her X0’th birthday. It was at a club in Honolulu, outside on the lawn and under a nice pergola. But then, almost everything done in Hawaii is done outside or in a room opening to the lawn. It’s something you can do all year long, so even wintertime celebrations are outside events. That’s one charm I love.

The guest of honor received numerous lei and they smelled wonderful in the warm breezes of 75 degree weather.

The second is the music. It seems Hawaii abounds with singers, musicians and dancers – which always add such a lavishness to any event. It is not difficult to hire entertainment in Hawaii and they don’t have to be professional’ to put on a good show. And many times the hotels have regulars who might be available for a private event. At the event I attended, the music was supplied by Mihana Souza and her sister, who come from long and illustrious musical roots. And they just happen to live on my street.

Mihana and sister with her family pics on her guitar. We dancers plan out our positioning.

And then there is hula. My kumu (hula teacher) tells me that she gets numerous calls from mainlanders who are looking for entertainment for their events. Nothing says Hawaiian like the hula. There is a hula for every/any event, as this dance form tells a story. There is no dance without the words, and there are many stories to tell. It happens that the birthday hostess used to take hula with me, so she asked a few of us from the halau to dance for her party. Five of us decided on dances we felt good about, practiced, and picked out our costume. It was a very fun experience for us. We didn’t have stage fright but we did find it challenging to dance to live music without any rehearsal. But we were well received anyway, and just strengthens my recommendation to add these amenities to a party you might want to give while here on vacation. It would certainly be an event that your guests will remember as it’ll stand out as so different – good different. I hope you will consider celebrating an occasion here on a visit and making it Hawaiian.

Video: Dancing to some favorite songs – me and my hula sisters (I’m hidden in there somewhere).


  1. I love Hula too!  I"ve been taking almost 3 years and feel like I know nothing yet.  such a wonderful dance.

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