The committee behind putting together the yearly Merrie Monarch festival said it will bring back the King Kalakaua Beard & Look-Alike Contest for this year’s Merrie Monarch Festival, which is the 50th running of arguably the most popular yearly event in Hawaii.
King David Kalakaua, who the inspiration for the annual Merrie Monarch Festival, reigned over the Kingdom of Hawaii from 1874 to 1891. This is a fun event, and if you think you look like King David Kalakaua, or you think you can grow a beard like him , or both, then this is your chance to get in on the competition. The contest is of course only for fun, and it is the Festival’s way of celebrating King David Kalakaua on during the 50th annual running of the event.
“It’s all in good fun,” said contest coordinator Lei Branco. “It brings back old-time memories and the fun days. It was a fun time.”
The first King Kalakaua beard contest took place at Hilo Armory in 1964, according to Branco. That year about 10 men lined up, turned from side to side, walked in front of the judges and then sat down. I expect there will be a lot more than 10 guys lined up this time around.
This year’s 50th running of the Merrie Monarch Festival takes place from March 31 to April 6 in Hilo and includes the usual three days of hula competition. The prizes for the beard contest on April 1 are still being finalized, according to Branco. HPM Building Supply is offering $50 in gift certificates to the first 50 registered contestants.
This is going to be a very fun event during the already packed Merrie Monarch Festival. If you are interested in participating in the King Kalakaua Beard & Look-Alike Contest at This Year’s Merrie Monarch Festival, then you can grab an entry form at the Merrie Monarch Festival office, located at 865 Piilani St. in Hilo. You can also call (808) 935-9168 to inquire or simply get a form online at hawaiitribune-herald.com.