22nd Annual Beyond Paradise Lu’au Brings the Tropics to UNC

The University of Northern Colorado will get a taste of the tropics with this year's Beyond Paradise Lu'au, a traditional Hawaiian celebration on April 13 involving native food, dances and other activities.

The event, hosted by UNC's Ha'aheo ‘O Hawaii Club and open to the public, starts at 4:30 p.m. in the ballrooms of the University Center, intersection of 20th Street and 10th Avenue.

Food at the lu'au will include traditional favorites such as haupia, a pudding-like dessert made from coconut milk, and kalua pig, which is traditionally cooked by lining a pit with hot coals and burying the pig in it. The dinner menu also includes chicken long rice, teriyaki chicken, vegetable kabobs, pineapple, rice and green salad.

The celebration will feature a variety of dances from the Pacific islands with student dancers performing both ‘auna (modern) and kahiko (traditional) Hawaiian hulas and slow and fast Tahitian dances, with a special performance by the club's graduating seniors.

There'll also be a women's chant, a "haka" warrior chant performed by the men and poi-ball dances, which involve the swinging of tethered weights in intricate geometric patterns.

After their popular performance at last year's lu'au, Fort Collins-based reggae band Trichome will return to the stage at this year's event.

The Beyond Paradise Country Store will offer a variety of Hawaiian treats, gifts and souvenirs for sale, and children will be able to play games and win prizes in the Keiki Corner while their parents shop, and have their picture taken in front of a Hawaiian-themed backdrop.

Tickets are $15 for students, $20 for adults, $10 for children under 13 and free for children under 5, and are available in person at the UNC Ticket Office in the University Center, by calling 970-351-4849 or at www.unco.edu/tickets.

Free parking will be available in lots adjacent to the University Center.