Halawa Valley sits at the far eastern end of the island of Molokai. It is literally at the end of the road about 27 miles from the town of Kaunakakai. It is thought that native Hawaiians came to this valley as early as 650 AD and was home to as many as 10,000 people at one time. In modern times, a tsunami in 1946 wiped out many of the remaining taro plantations and led to a further decline in the population. Today there are are fewer than 20 residents.
Since 1946 Hawaiians have been having Aloha festivals each year. The stated purpose for these festivals is to “preserve and perpetuate Hawaiian culture and to celebrate the diverse customs and Aloha Spirit of Hawaii.” The festivals are held during September and October.
The Molokai festival was held on Saturday, October 13. The main event was the parade through the streets of Kaunakakai. Parade participants included the festival King, Queen and their court, school children, various civic groups, the Princesses from all of the Hawaiian islands and, since this is an election year, politicians running for local as well as national office. In addition to the parade, there were other activities planned throughout the day.
We arrived into Molokai on Monday, October 1, 2012. We’re staying in one of the condos called Molokai Shores which is located just 1 1/4 miles east of the main town of Kaunakakai. The photo below was taken from the patio of our first floor condo. (The island you can see off shore is Lanai.) There are about 100 units here. We’ve met several nice people staying here, many of which own one of the condos that they occupy part time, during the mainland winter months. They invited us to take part in their weekly “pot luck” dinner that they hold every Wednesday just before sundown at the picnic tables you can see in the photo.