The Heilala Festival 2020 is expected to officially begin on May 11 in Vava’u.
The national event which included beauty pageant contest, cultural competitions, and celebrating the Royal Birthday of His Majesty King Tupou VI, will then move to Lifuka, Ha’apai on May 15 – 22.
On May 25 – 29 the event was expected to be celebrated in ‘Eua before the final events in Tongatapu on June 22 – July 4.
“In bringing Tonga Tourism Industry to actively engage in working hand-in-hand with the Ministry of Tourism, we wish to invite you to join and celebrate with us on this significant and colourful event,” Tourism CEO Sione Mafi said in a statement.
“Governors of Vava’u and Ha’apai as well as the Government Representative of ‘Eua, are absolutely supportive and totally ebullient and happy to brace the National Event.
“The Ministry wishes to acknowledge every Heilala Festival‘s major sponsor, Fiji Airways, in which it’ll be again this year’s major sponsor.”
Last year the traditional event ended in bitter controversy after 2018 – 2019 Tongan beauty queen Kalo Funganitao’s title was stripped off after she spoke of alleged mistreatment and bullying by organisers.
2018 runner up, Lupe Vete, was then recognised as Miss Heilala for the 2018 to 2019 period.