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Kainani Kahaunaele will feature music from her newest album, Waipunalei.

The ʻImiloa Astronomy Center will host cultural enrichment programs in celebration of festivities honoring the 2022 Merrie Monarch Hula Festival in Hilo. The three-day event from April 20–22 will give participants the opportunity to learn how to make Niʻihau shell jewelry, fresh lei and listen to live music from multi-Nā Hōkū Hanohano award winning artist, Kainani Kahaunaele (lecturer, Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language) at the center’s grounds on the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo campus.

Master shell artisan, Kaleialoha Roback will host two earring workshops

“We’re thrilled to be able to host another year of Merrie Monarch programs at our center for the Hawaiʻi community, and for those who are visiting Hilo for this internationally acclaimed festival,” said Kaʻiu Kimura, executive director at ʻImiloa. “We’re especially thankful to our presenters this year for supporting our goal to safely offer educational and culturally enriching experiences for our guests.”

Admission is available with limited seating. Visitors are strongly encouraged to reserve their admission via online reservation prior to visiting ʻImiloa. Walk-ups will be accommodated based on first-come, first-serve availability.

Lei making materials gathered from the gardens at ʻImiloa: will be provided to participants.

Find tickets and cultural enrichment program schedule online.

In keeping with the current state, county and UH Hilo COVID-19 health and safety protocols, ʻImiloa will not require vaccination verification or negative test results. Visitors (ages 2 and above) must wear face masks while at the center.

Special general admission to dinosaur exhibit

In addition to the Merrie Monarch cultural programming, ʻImiloa will continue to host the traveling exhibit, Expedition Dinosaur: Rise of the Mammals, through April 22 from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. ʻImiloa’s Sky Garden Restaurant remains closed until further notice. For health and safety purposes, eating inside the building is not permitted.

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