24 Jun 2004

Tonga's Heilala Festival gets underway this weekend

4:51 pm on 24 June 2004

The biggest annual event on Tonga's calendar, the Heilala Festival gets underway in the Kingdom's capital Nuku'alofa this weekend.

The week long festival which celebrates the country's cultures and traditions also includes a beauty pageant which this year has attracted contestants from the United States and New Zealand.

One of the organisers, Katri Halaunga says this year's festival which coincides with an important occasion will include cultural and sporting events.

"and we have the annual music festival going on right now until the fourth of July and these are all staged to coincide with the King's birthday on the fourth of July every year."

Katri Halaunga.