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Linfield College celebrates aloha spirit with Hot Hawaiian Nights

Linfield College Lu'au 2012Linfield College will celebrate its 41st annual Lu’au celebration, Hot Hawaiian Nights, on Saturday, May 4. A Hawaiian dinner at 5 p.m. will be followed by a live performance at 7:30 p.m. 2012 VIDEO

Everyone is welcome.

For more than four decades, Linfield students have brought the aloha spirit to enthusiastic regional and campus crowds. This year more than 100 students will share dances and music from the Hawaiian Islands, New Zealand and Tahiti, swishing colorful skirts, stomping feet and yelling war cries as they perform slap dances, fire-knife dances and hulas. The Linfield Concert Choir will also perform, singing in a native New Zealand language.

The dinner is catered by Patrick’s Hawaiian Café and served by Linfield students, and will feature Hawaiian dishes such as poi, kalua pig, pineapple, teriyaki chicken, lomi salmon and haupia, a coconut milk-based dessert.

The event has been organized by students, Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian, with more than 150 students involved in all aspects of the production, including choreography. New dances are created each year, and student performers began rehearsals in early February.

Hawaiian Lu'au 2012Dinner will be served from 5 and 7 p.m. in the Rutschman Field House, with dinner service ending at 6:45. The “Country Store” will open in the upper gymnasium of the HHPA Building at 5:30. The store features foods, leis and gifts donated from Hawaiian companies, with proceeds helping cover event costs. The live performance will be held in the HHPA Ted Wilson Gymnasium at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 6, and the event includes pre-show entertainment.

General admission tickets for the performance are $15. Tickets for both the show and dinner are $25 for general admission and $28 for reserved seats. Student and senior (60+) tickets are $18 and $20, and require I.D. Children’s tickets are $10 and $15. Children under age two, seated on their parents’ laps, are admitted free without a meal. Tickets go on sale April 12 and can be purchased at www.linfieldtickets.com. For more information, visit www.linfield.edu/activities/luau.

Student planners for Hot Hawaiian Nights include Amy Bumatai ’13, Ashley Kimi ’14 and Ihilani Kamaka ’15. The event is sponsored by the Linfield College Hawaiian Club, and the Multicultural Programs and College Activities offices.

Strong ties to Hawaiian Islands

Pacific Northwest colleges have seen an especially large influx of students from the Polynesian Islands, and Linfield College is no exception, with five percent of their liberal arts and science students coming from Hawaii.

Linfield was one of the first colleges in Oregon to recruit in Hawaii, and over the years, hundreds of Hawaiian students have produced lu’au events and nurtured a strong Hawaiian Club.

“There is a strong support system coming from the Hawaiian Islands,” says Bumatai, who is helping coordinate this year’s lu’au.

“Most parents from the Islands help with the event,” she says. “They buy local fabric and sew costumes, and collect donations from local companies and the Linfield community. They also gather foliage and leis and coordinate shipments to McMinnville. Many even fly here for the event.”

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