Welcome to Kona Nui Nights
It’s a crisp evening in urban Honolulu. The pale glow of the full moon hangs overhead, basking the IBM Building in lunar light.
From inside the courtyard of the iconic building, the familiar cadence of a Hawaiian ipu fills the air and a mele, or chant, follows suit. On the stage stands a troop of hula dancers, mesmerizingly telling Hawai’i’s story with each carefully executed step. This is not your standard hula show: this is Kona Nui Nights.
Free to the public and held on the Third Thursday of every month, Kona Nui is a night filled with culture, storytelling, and all of the good vibes that the IBM Building can hold. The recurring event has been a mainstay in Ward Village for years. And for good reason: Each month, we bring together the community to celebrate hula, mele, and ‘olelo with unforgettable performances by the likes of local stars including Mana Hele.
While Ward Village may quite literally be a neighborhood on the up, we’ll never forget the deep heritage and culture of the people that made this land so special. Our reverence runs deep, and as this dynamic neighborhood continues to develop, we yearned to create an environment where both kama’aina and newcomers alike could gather to learn about Hawaiian culture, understand more of our own olelo, and connect over laughter and good times, just as the first Polynesians did in the days of old.
As a family-friendly event, Hawaiian music fans have had the pleasure of listening to the likes of Robert Cazimero, Keauhou, complete with a bevy of other well-known musicians and Halau Na Kamalei, along with other Merrie Monarch-competing halau. In the Hawaiian language, there is an adage that seeks to uphold the importance of hula and storytelling in our collective culture: Ola nā mele hanohano a ka lāhui aloha, or “Life be unto the honored chants and dances of our beloved people.”
Kona Nui Nights begins at 6pm, with doors opening at 5:30pm. Although the popular event is free, you can reserve your tickets online. For those without tickets, standby purchases can be made at the event. A cash bar is available within the courtyard and all attendees are encouraged to grab a bite from any one of Ward Village’s awa