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Organizers and sponsors are working together on options for holding the Merrie Monarch Festival in 2021 amid the looming COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result, there will be no live audience and no tickets will be sold for the event.

“Having to cancel last year’s event was a very hard decision but one we knew was necessary for the health and safety of our beloved dancers, kumu, judges and hula community overall,” said Merrie Monarch Festival President Luana Kawelu.

While Kawelu and her staff are moving forward with planning for a 2021 event, she added, health and safety is still their number one concern.

Festival organizers usually start accepting ticket request forms on Dec. 1. Kathy Kawelu, Luana’s daughter and kākoʻo, asked for everyone’s kōkua.

“We need to get the word out to everyone who might be gearing up to send in requests,” Kathy Kawelu stated. “We will not be accepting ticket requests for Merrie Monarch 2021. Please do not send ticket requests and payment as you might normally do.”

The Merrie Monarch organizing committee is diligently working to develop a 2021 event that will allow for a celebration of hula that aligns with recommended COVID-19 protocols and guidelines.

“So many have expressed how much they would like to see the festival be held, as would we,” Luana Kawelu said. “Nonetheless, while the perpetuation of hula and Hawaiian culture is our mission, our priority during these unprecedented times is keeping our ʻohana and community safe and healthy.”

Visit merriemonarch.com for future updates and further information as it becomes available.

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