The Long Beach Terrace Theater hosts the 18th Annual E Hula Mau Polynesian Festival over Labor Day weekend. E Hula Mau features three days of arts and crafts, food, lectures, workshops, contests and entertainment. Most notably, the festival hosts the only hula and chant competition in Southern California.
For almost two decades, the E Hula Mau has been presented by Nà Mamo. The non-profit organization’s main goal is to educate the community and preserve Hawaiian culture through events and outreach.
Lectures, workshops and contests are the major draws to the festival. Saturday, September 1st is the Mahalo Bash Contest featuring Grammy-nominated Willie Kahaiali’i and Ryan and Kai Kalama, otherwise known as the Kalama Brothers. Ryan and Kai are a second generation set, singing songs their father and uncle, the first Kalama Brothers, performed years before.
The Kanikapila Jam takes place on the same evening. It is free to the public with music and entertainment. Guests are encouraged to bring their own ukuleles and guitars should they want to play along.
Saturday and Sunday will offer workshops and contests throughout the day. Learn how to make leis and enter your best creation into the competition. Take a basic Hawaiian language workshop, complete with your own set of flashcards. If you have a guitar, sign up for the slack key workshop led by Jim Kimo West.
The majority of the festival entertainment is free, though individual performances and various workshops may have separate fees. Free events will be in the Terrace Theater lobby, the Terrace Plaza and exterior stage area, the Hawaiian Culture Village, as well as the Kanikapila Jam in the Westin Long Beach, which is also where. guests traveling from out of town can book a room for the weekend.
Tickets for specific performances may be purchased at Ticketmaster or directly through the Long Beach Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $21.00 for individual shows, and the Mahalo Bash costs $35.00 per person.
Chrystal Baker is a freelance food and events contributor for CBS Los Angeles, Basil Magazine and Frugivore Magazine. She is the co-editor of a recipe blog, The Duo Dishes, and manages her own lifestyle and travel blog, Any and Everywhere.