Jordan Ragasa, president of the Hawaii Club, said the holiday is celebrated throughout all levels of school, and this will be the first year that DePauw University will be holding its own celebration of the event. Called "HawaiiFest!" Ragasa said he chose to hold it much earlier than normal, choosing Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. in Meherry Hall in the East College building, as opposed to May 1.
"It's hard to do things in May," Ragasa said, saying that finals and the near-end of the term combine to make the free time to create this kind of celebration very limited.
Preparing for this event requires a lot of practice, as members of the Hawaii Club and other multicultural groups such as MECCA, Men of Excellence in Cross-Cultural Alliances, and LACE, Ladies and Allies for Cross-Cultural Education, had to practice their hula routines several times, and will continue to practice them in the other rehearsals before Sunday.
The event will be based on a royal Hawaiian celebration, complete with kahili, the European equivalent to royal banners. The celebration includes several dances, including one performed by Yves-Marie Toussaint of MECCA called the Lepe 'Ula 'Ula, which tells the story of a Hawaiian cowboy that would use a lasso to tie up the hearts of women.
"Forgot to spread my wings," Toussaint said laughing as he practiced the routine several times.
Toussaint and Neisha Washington of LACE will be the king and queen of the event, with other members representing the islands of Maui and Oahu in pairs.
The event is free and open to all who wish to be involved in the Hawaiian culture and celebrate the May Day festivities. The club will also provide Hawaiian finger foods.
"There's nothing to lose," Ragasa said. "It's a springtime celebration."