Over the weekend, we celebrated the grand opening of our new store in Denver, Colorado in true Hawaiian style. The store, which is in the Lowry community at Hangar 2, is the site of our hands-on franchisee training program and is our first company-owned location.
To celebrate, we threw a luau featuring authentic Polynesian dancers and two hours of free smoothies, coffees, and teas. We had a prize wheel with some amazing giveaway items and thanks to the Photo Love Bus, we had so much fun putting on silly props and taking photos in an original VW Bus.
We kicked off the event with a ribbon cutting ceremony with Founder Jill Summerhays doing the honors. Once it was all official, we got the party started with some live entertainment. The dancers ranged in ages and put on a fantastic hula show that took us through a journey of the Polynesian Islands. Guests also enjoyed lots of free smoothies and hung out, sipping them in the Colorado sunshine.
We want to send a big Mahalo to everyone who came out to support the new store and our ‘ohana for putting together an amazing day. Maui Wowi looks forward to becoming the Lowry Community’s number one choice for premium Hawaiian coffee and fresh fruit smoothies. Cheers!
The Merrie Monarch refers to King David Kalākaua, the last reigning king of the Hawaiian Monarch. Kalākaua ran for election after Kamehameha V passed away without naming a successor. He lost the election, however, to Lunalilo, a high chief who won by a large majority. Just a year later, Lunalilo passed away, also without naming a successor. This time around, Kalākaua was elected to the throne to serve as King of the Hawaiian Monarch. During his reign, Kalākaua made huge contributions to Hawaii that are still known today.
Requested the building of Iolani Palace- The only royal palace on U.S. soil
Requested a statue of King Kamehameha I be placed outside of the palace to honor the Hawaiian heritage.
Signed a tariff that allowed Hawaiian goods, such as sugar and rice, to be exported to the United States tax-free.
Reinstituted the art of the Hula, which had been banned in 1830.
He brought back the culture of Hawaiians by encouraging hula and other native traditions including language and arts.
King David Kalākaua had a lively personality and enjoyed music, dancing, and being joyful. His legacy lives on today in a number of ways, including the Merrie Monarch Festival, a week-long event held each year to celebrate the hula. The festival has received world-wide recognition for its commitment to honoring and perpetuating the Hawaiian culture. It also helps to support programs that continue to keep its history alive. This year, the festival will be held in Hilo, Hawaii, on the Big Island, from April 5-11 and will feature hula competitions, a parade, and free hula performances.
Legend has it that two dancing gods, one male and one female, lived on the islands of Hawaii. The male god disappeared from the islands, leaving the female goddess, Laka, behind. The goddess decided to stay and teach the islanders her dances. The hula of the Hawaiian Islands was born, and to this day, Laka is considered to be the goddess of dance.
Another Legend says that deep on the Hawaiian Islands, there lived three goddesses; Pele, the volcano goddess, Laka, the keeper of the dance, and Hi’iaka the performer of dance. Hi’iaka would dance around Pele, while Laka received gifts and offerings in return for her dances. The dances from the islanders portrayed the story of the three goddesses for years to come, through the dance of the hula.
While the origins of the hula live on through various myths and legends, the smooth moving dances still exist today. The dances usually begin with chants of poetry by men, while women move to express the chants. Hula is now a popular Hawaiian tourist attraction, and is taught in schools throughout the islands. No matter how many different stories of the hula exist, the dance is and will remain a complex art form for years to come.