As part of its continuing efforts to develop commercial and residential projects in fast-growing Kakaako in Honolulu, the Howard Hughes Corporation is launching another monthly Ward Village event designed to draw residents and visitors to the area. “Kona Nui Nights” will feature live music and hula dancing from local hula halau. The event will take place on the fourth Sunday of each month at the Ward Village Information Center, from 4pm to 7pm.
Kona Nui Nights will celebrate Hawaiian culture and arts, and feature a bilingual emcee addressing the crowd in both English and native Hawaiian. The monthly celebration will welcome local artists and hula halau from around the state. In addition to the free live entertainment, Kona Nui Nights will also offer food trucks, seasonal activities, and a cash bar. Free seating is available, and attendees are welcome to bring their own seating, too.
The name “Kona Nui Nights” may be confusing to some, as Kona is most commonly known as the southern end of the Big Island. But the word “kona” is actually used to describe the southern districts of all of the Hawaiian islands.
“The name of this event was chosen with care,” says Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Ward Village’s Cultural Advisor. “’Kona,’ which means the southern district of an island, is paired with the word ‘Nui’ to bring emphasis to our urban southern city – the social and economic hub of Oahu.”
Ward Village’s ongoing work in Kakaako is not limited to construction and development. It also involves a sincere effort to create a Hawaiian sense of community and inclusion. The intent seems to be to provide more than just a place to shop and spend money, but a place to meet and experience Hawaii’s unique cultural and artistic heritage.
Kona Nui Nights premieres Sunday, April 26, with contemporary Hawaiian singer and Na Hoku Hanohano Award winner Weldon Kekauoha and Hula Halau Ka Pa Hula O Ka Lei Lehua.