Rick Makanaaloha Kia'imeaokekanaka San Nicolas and the Makanaaloha Group is proud to be the founder of this very special event along with George Na'ope. With his passing in October 26, 2009, it is even more important to me to continue this competition in his honor. In 2004 when I asked Uncle George about holding a hula competition here in California in his honor, we spoke about a keiki competition first. Uncle George told me, "Why not do a competition for only men?". I thought about that for a moment and replied to him "You know, you are right. There is not enough emphasis put on the kāne in hula and if I do this event, it can only help". So with that, he gave his blessings and his permission to legally use his name and image in our event, and the privilege of holding the first hula competition legally bearing his name.
In 2011 with careful consideration with my family, our judges, and close friends, I have decided to make our event come "full circle" to be inclusive of all hula categories. We have added the Wahine Division, Gracious Ladies as well as the Kupuna Division. Many halau have asked to be a part of our event and now they can with these new categories added to complete our competition. We have also moved the hula competition to our new home in Old Sacramento at the Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza, Sacramento, CA. We have also considered the dates of the event previously and have found our dates in August fall closer and closer to new start dates for school as they have changed. We have changed the date of our hula competition on the third weekend of July now and not the second weekend of August any longer. We feel that the festival will be better served with a date that is most convenient for the hula halau that all would like to attend.