Aloha Festivals Set for Fall "[The festival] encourages all who call Hawaii home, or who have the pleasure of visiting, to delve deeper into learning about the rich heritage of Hawaii."--Manu Boyd, Office of Hawaiian Affairs August 24, 1998 Share 1 -- HONOLULU -- The 52nd annual Aloha Festivals will be held in September and October. It will feature more than 300 events on six islands during the two months. Signature events will again include the downtown and Waikiki ho'olaule'a (street parties) and Waikiki's floral parade.This year's theme, Oa Ka Oiwi (the natives endure), is a celebration of the Hawaiian heritage and culture. "It encourages all who call Hawaii home, or who have the pleasure of visiting, to delve deeper into learning about the rich heritage of Hawaii,'' said Manu Boyd, 1998 festivals president and an Office of Hawaiian Affairs staffer.Earlier this summer, the festivals' promotion kicked off with ceremonies at Honolulu Airport. As the official festivals' interisland carrier, Aloha Airlines unveiled and blessed a 737 painted with an ilima lei across its fuselage. The plane will serve as the official aircraft of the Aloha Festivals.Official dates of the festival on each island are: Oahu, Sept. 11 to 20; Kauai, Oct. 9 to 18; Molokai, Sept. 27 to Oct. 11; the Big Island, Sept. 18 to 27; Maui, Oct. 2 to 11, and Lanai, Oct. 16 to 25.However, the islands also have events that are outside of the official dates.The first events are usually investitures of royal courts on each island, some of which have already taken place.According to Janet Hyrne, festivals executive director, contest events have grown in popularity. The Hawaiian Falsetto Contest was moved from Waikiki to the Hawaii Theater in downtown Honolulu last year because larger space was needed. This year, she said, all the theater's 1,100 seats are expected to be filled for the Sept. 5 event.The Hawaiian Spelling Bee, for example, to be held Sept. 19 at Ward Warehouse, a Honolulu retail center, will be the finals this year. New qualifying spelling bees will be held on the neighbor islands.Also, the Sam Choy Poke Contest (poke is marinated raw fish) to be held at the Big Island's Hapuna Beach Hotel Sept.27, will also be a final event, with new poke contests held on the other islands.The first Aloha Festivals, then called Aloha Week, was held in 1946; the first parade was the following year. The 1996 event's theme reflected on 50 years, while last year's honored its volunteers.With a full- and part time staff of 10, Aloha Festivals has more than 30,000 unpaid volunteers involved in the events. Most events are free or admit guests with a $5 ribbon, Aloha Festivals Phone: (800) 852-7690 Fax (808) 545-1770 E-mail email@example.com.Web: www.alohafestivals.com.