Maui Arts & Entertainment

2022 Emma Farden Sharpe Hula Festival, Aug. 27 at Lahaina Banyan Tree

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Emma Farden Sharpe Hula Festival. Photo credit: Hideharu Yoshikawa. (file photo)

The 2022 Emma Farden Sharpe Hula Festival returns to an “in person” event under the shade of the Lahaina Banyan Tree on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The public is invited to enjoy free keiki activities, local eats, workshops, Hawaiʻi made crafts, Hawaiian music, and hula.

Opening the festival on Saturday at 9 a.m. will be Aunty Emma’s hālau – Nā Pua O Kapi’olani Hula Studio, now under the direction of her grand niece, Holoaumoku Ralar. 

Hālau Hula performing include the following: 

  • Nā Pua O Kapi‘olani Hula Studio & Nāpili Kai Foundation, Kumu Hula Holoaumoku Ralar; 
  • Hālau Hula Kauluokalā and Kumu Hula Uluwehi Guerrero; 
  • Hālau Kekuaokala‘au‘ala‘iliahi and Nā Kumu Hula ‘Iliahi & Haunani Paredes; 
  • Hālau Kamaluokaleihulu and Kumu Hula Kahulu Maluo-Pearson; 
  • Hālau O Ka Hanu Lehua and Kumu Hula Kamaka Kukona.

“One of my favorite events of the year,” said event coordinator Daryl Fujiwara. “I’m so happy to have it back in person. It’s one of the few times our hālau hula (hula school) can be seen in public and free. I want to thank the County of Maui and the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority for their support. Funds made possible through their grants are infused right back into our community, to musicians, to hālau – all to share our culture.”

Since the relaunch of this event the ‘ohana Farden has honored someone. This year they wanted to honor the “The Fabulous Emma Sharpe Entertainers,” dancers and musicians that performed alongside “Aunty Emma.”

“It’s a big list, you will definitely recognize a name or two. So please come and celebrate them with us,” said Fujiwara.

The Fabulous Emma Sharpe Entertainers include: Phyllis Ross, Alice Shimomura, Mokihana Shipe, Kalei Jaramillo, Makanani Catugal, Malihini Heath, Stephany Sepulveda, Penny Schneider, Leimomi Santana, Pualei Estrella, Ku‘uipo Haupu, Panui Shepard, No‘eau Ralar, Kalani Naeole, Steven Lono, Sean Grady, Patrick Grady, Wayne Hirata, Manuel Criste, Randy Casco, June Kalepa and Pualalea Cabacungan.


They join past awardees: Moana Dudoit (posthumously); Ualani Makaike-Calleja; Joseph Ilalaole (posthumously); Mary Kawena Pukui (posthumously), Kuhailikui Opunui (posthumously), Martha Medeiros (posthumously), Alehandro “Ale” Arao and Roselle Bailey.

The event’s ʻUkulele Workshop will be held at 10 a.m. and the Hula Workshop takes place at 2 p.m. Times and locations can change at any time. Email will be mainly used for confirmation and updates.

Participants can reserve workshop space by filling out the google form: 

Due to COVID-19, the festival went virtual last year. It can be viewed online on Facebook. Participants last year included: Hālau Makana Aloha O Ka Laua’e with Kumu Hula Sissy Lake Farm and Hālau Keʻalaokamaile under the direction of Nā Kumu Hula Henohea Kane and Kealiʻi Reichel.


Kumu hula, “Aunty Emma” made it her mission to perpetuate hula and the Hawaiian culture so she created the Emma Farden Sharpe Hula Festival, which started in conjunction with Nā Mele O Maui, a choir contest among Maui County schools, grades K-12, and continues today. Emma was one of the founders of Nā Mele and added on a hula festival in her name. It was phased out in early 90’s.

“We honor the renowned, Emma Farden Sharpe, through a celebration of hula, ʻauana (new) and kahiko (old), with a day of free keiki activities, workshops, artisans and a lifetime achievement award dedicated to a pillar in the hula community,” said event coordinators.

PC: courtesy event flyer.

Organizers thanked the following organizations and businesses: County of Maui Office of Economic Development, Hawaii Tourism Authority, Lahaina Hawaiian Civic Club, Lahaina Town Action Committee, Best Western Pioneer Inn, Daryl Fujiwara – Smythe Fujiwara Design, Nā Pua O Kapi‘olani Hula Studio, Lahaina Restoration Foundation, Kathy Holoaumoku Ralar, ‘Ohana Farden and Pacific Media Group.

For more information about the festival visit


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