My Merrie Monarch Week in Hilo

Merrie Monarch week has concluded in Hilo.  During this week, Hiloans share food, fun, fashion, and hula with friends from around the world.  A few years ago, my husband made friends with people from our sister city of Shibukawa, Japan.  The beautiful town of Ikaho, part of Shibukawa city, hosts the largest hula festival city in Japan every summer. The winning halau at the Merrie Monarch is invited to perform at this festival in Ikaho. Since our friends were visiting to attend the Merrie Monarch, we took them to dinner at Seaside Restaurant.


We went to Seaside restaurant where we enjoyed delicious fried aholehole, Chinese-style kampachi, fried calamari, prime rib, and poke while listening to live music from Lloyd Longakit.

Our group took a photo with Colin, our friend and the owner of Seaside Restaurant.

On Friday, I visited the craft fair at Sangha Hall to see what baubles my friend Kori from Beads and Things by Kori had as well as to get poi balls from Aunty Peaches.  My daughter was begging for them, but unfortunately–as you can see by the photo below, I was not successful in my mission.


I was happy to have crossed paths with a good friend at the craft fair. We decided to celebrate our Friday afternoon with a quick catch up session at Liko Lehua at Pauahi before going home and making dinner.  #HiloDasWhy


On Saturday morning, we went to the Grand Naniloa Hotel for my daughter to see if Aunty Lani’s poi ball booth was open.  Success!  We waited in line for about 30 minutes and got some freshly cooked poi balls.  So yummy–even though it sounds so funny to keep on saying balls!  After that, we visited the Hawaiian food pop-up near HPM/Carpet Isle and picked up our dinner.


We bought laulau, kalua, lomi salmon, chicken long rice, and haupia to be enjoyed for our dinner that evening.IMG_3591

We still needed lunch so we went around the block and visited Hilo Lunch Shop where I crossed paths with a buddy who lives in Seattle now.  Check out Grant’s Instagram account @higamonster where you can see his international powerlifting successes.  So proud of this Hilo boy.


I ended my Merrie Monarch weekend with the hula festival results while enjoying my avocado toast on Sunday.  Even if you don’t get to go to the Merrie Monarch festival, you can still enjoy the Merrie Monarch spirit all over Hilo! What are your Merrie Monarch week traditions?  Living Hilo Style.


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