Arguably the biggest cultural event of the year, the Lu’au hosted by the Hawaiian Club will undergo considerable changes this year in an effort to improve food quality, profits and overall excitement.
Sophomore Lu’au co-chairs Ihilani Haru and Cheyne Kaninau oversee all Lu’au committees and
ensure that the event, with its new features, runs smoothly.
Haru said one of the main changes to the Lu’au, themed Ho’okahi Pu’uwai (“one heart, one team”), is a catered dinner in the Rutschman Field House. Patrick’s Hawaiian Café, in Vancouver, Wash., will provide authentic Hawaiian dishes.
The reason for catering, junior club co-president Keyra Loo said, is because of limitations resulting from cooking restrictions in the Dillin Hall kitchen.
While the parent-student cooking involvement is lost, she said Patrick’s offers more authentically prepared meals than those in years past.
Moving the dining location to the field house will be a profitable change, Director of Multicultural Programs Barry Tucker said. The reason: The Country Store is there, too.
The Country Store includes food, clothing, jewelry and other products donated from family and friends in Hawaii, Haru said.
He said the club hopes people will purchase more products from the store if they have to walk past it to get food.
Loo said letters are sent to parents at the beginning of the year requesting Hawaiian items, and four islands have a parent in charge of collecting these donations and getting them to Linfield.
A portion of the Country Store’s proceeds are donated to charity, Haru said.
During dinner, Lu’au participants will eat to the rhythms of Sister Roby Kahakalau, a musician who the club will fly in from the islands.
Another addition to the Lu’au is live music during the dance performances, which will take place in the Ted Wilson Gymnasium after dinner, Loo said. Na Hemo, a six-person band of Linfield students, will play during both the Hawaiian dances and afterward as a separate musical program.
The Hawaiian club has been practicing five nights a week, four hours a night, since the start of Spring Semester, Haru said.
Loo said that all of the time spent together with club members makes the running of the Lu’au easier.
“Everyone is really close this year, and that helps because Lu’au can get really stressful,” she said.
Haru said that she is looking forward to seeing everything come together.
“We want to share with [people] the Aloha spirit and just let them imagine what it’s like to be in Hawaii for a night,” she said.
The Lu’au will take place at 5 p.m. April 25, beginning in the field house for dinner and will move to the gym for the rest of the program. Ticket sales are outside Withnell Commons and Walker Hall between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and in Dillin Hall from 5-7 p.m.
Student tickets cost $12 pre-sale and $15 on the day of Lu’au. General tickets are $17, presale, and $20 on the day of.