Each spring, a plane lands in Spokane bearing hundreds of pounds of pineapples, salmon, flowers, greenery and other delights from the Hawaiian Islands for Whitworth’s annual lu’au. The event is planned and presented by the Hawaiian Club, with great support from Whitworth’s extended community in Hawaii. The annual event began in 1971 as the culminating activity for the club, though the club itself began in 1968 as a home-away-from-home for students from Hawaii.
The lu’au is now one of most popular events of the year, drawing audiences upwards of 500 to the Fieldhouse, and is as authentic as a lu’au can get on the mainland. The event features a feast, prepared by club members, that may include kalua pig (roasted pork), lomi lomi salmon, squid luau, poi, macaroni salad, Hawaiian sweet rolls, Shoyu chicken, pineapple cake and haupia, a coconut dessert. A chef from the island often consults and assists with the process. Entertainment follows, with Polynesian dancing, games, and audience participation, as well as an opportunity to purchase Hawaiian goods.