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The 11 Best Events on O‘ahu in August 2019

​Cap off the end of summer with two ethnic festivals, a new production of an oldie but goodie and a bunch of local journalists poking fun at news in the Islands.


Update: New event, The Joy of Sake, has been added!

Correction: Entrance to the Okinawan Festival is $2 per person for the first floor of the convention center (not free as previously noted).



Comic Con Honolulu

Friday, August 2–Sunday, August 4 | Various times

comic con



Live your best life as your favorite comic book, sci-fi, movie or book character. Pop into a panel discussion, get an autograph and compete in video games and more throughout the weekend. See our guide to Honolulu’s comic conventions year-round.​

Hawai‘i Convention Center, $40–$65, comicconhonolulu.com


SEE ALSO: Our Favorite Moments and Costumes from Kawaii Kon 2019



Phantom of the Opera

Wednesday, August 7 to Sunday, September 1 | Various times


Yes, the Andrew Lloyd Webber classic has been redone many times. But this new production boasts special effects, a thrilling score and new staging and choreography. The 33-year-old musical still holds the record as the longest-running Broadway show.

Blaisdell Concert Hall, various prices, broadwayinhawaii.com


SEE ALSO: HONOLULU Magazine’s Summer 2019 Bucket List: The 53 Best Things to Do on O‘ahu



Ke Kani O Ke Kai Summer Concert Series

Thursday, August 8 | 5:30 p.m.


Catch the last part of the aquarium’s summer concert series. Sprawl out on the beachfront lawn for live entertainment by Streetlight Cadence, Jerry Santos and other local artists.​

Waikīkī Aquarium, $20–$50, waikikiaquarium.org



The Joy of Sake

Friday, August 9  |  6:30–9 p.m.


More than 200 sake breweries submitted a total of 512 bottles for judging by the U.S. National Sake Appraisal, and you can try them all—or as many as you can sip in two-and-a-half hours—at The Joy of Sake, the biggest sake event in the country. Here are a few pro tips: Start with Daiginjo A sake, the highest quality and most refined, usually made in small quantities. Seek sake labeled with an asterisk to try those not distributed in the U.S. And beware of anything marked with a hashtag—those bottles are not diluted, meaning you’re sampling sake with a potentially head-spinning 20% alcohol, versus the typical 14% to 16%.

Hawai‘i Convention Center, $105–$155, joyofsake.com


The 37th annual Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival is on Aug. 10. waikikiaquarium.org.



Korean Festival

Saturday, August 10 | 11 a.m.–8 p.m.

Korean Fest 2019



After a sudden cancellation last year, the Korean Festival is back. Indulge in your favorite cultural dishes and shop for crafts while watching (or joining in on) a kim chee-eating contest and listening to live music. Thousands of people are expected to attend the festival, now in its 17th year, so make sure to get there early. 

Victoria Ward Park, free, koreanfesthawaii.com


SEE ALSO: Your Ultimate Guide to the 2019 Korean Festival in Honolulu



Made in Hawai‘i Festival

Friday, August 16–Sunday, August 18 | Various times

Nick Kuchar

PHOTO: Aaron K. Yoshino


Celebrate all things local at the 25th annual Made in Hawai‘i Festival. The fair will feature about 400 food, craft and apparel exhibitors showcasing products made in the Islands. At least 51% of each item’s value had to have been made, assembled or produced in Hawai‘i. Watch for $1 off-admission coupons at First Hawaiian Bank locations.

Blaisdell Exhibition Hall, $7 for adults (kids 6 and under are free), madeinhawaiifestival.com




Duke’s OceanFest

Saturday, August 17–Sunday, August 25 | Various times

surfing in waikiki

Photo: Courtesy of Duke’s OceanFest


What better way to honor revered surfer and waterman Duke Kahanamoku than with a week filled with water sports including paddleboard racing, swimming, beach volleyball and, of course, surfing? Festivities begin with an opening ceremony on Saturday followed by a host of races, exhibitions, a movie on the beach and other ocean-inspired action.​

Various locations around Waikīkī and Kailua, free to watch, dukesoceanfest.com




Gridiron 2019: This Is Not a Drill!!

Thursday, August 29–Saturday, August 31 | Various times


Hawai‘i’s Society of Professional Journalists’ fundraising show pokes fun at the past two years of news headlines. Tickets are expected to go on sale July 29 and sell out almost immediately.

Diamond Head Theatre, various prices, hawaiispj.org




Waimea Valley’s Summer Concert Series

Saturday, August 31 | 3–6:30 p.m.

Hawaiian concert series

Photo: Courtesy of Waimea Valley


Take in the breathtaking views of Waimea Valley while enjoying some favorite Hawaiian singers and hula hālau. Featured performers in August (marking the last of a three-part series) include Kalani Pe‘a, Kapena and Hālau Hula Olana.

Waimea Valley Main Lawn, $16–$20, waimeavalley.net


SEE ALSO: Your Ultimate Guide to the 2019 Okinawan Festival in Honolulu



Okinawan Festival

Saturday, August 31–Sunday, September 1 | Various times

Okinawan fest

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino


It looks like the Okinawan Festival’s new location, the Hawai‘i Convention Center, worked out last year because the andagi- and andadog-filled fair is returning for a second year, on Labor Day weekend. Enjoy live entertainment throughout the weekend, along with an indoor bon dance and food and craft booths.

Hawai‘i Convention Center, $2 admission to the first floor of the convention center (children ages 12 and under and seniors 65 years and older are free), okinawanfestival.com


SEE ALSO: How 5 Popular Ethnic Festivals in Honolulu Adapt While Keeping Traditions Alive


Looking for fun new ways to experience the city? HONOLULU’s got you covered with HNLTix, your brand-new local resource for all things social—fundraisers, concerts, comedy shows, expos and everything in between. Discover your next can’t-miss event, share your favorites with friends, or promote your own event and sell tickets online. To see what’s coming up next in Honolulu, visit HNLTix.com.


Find more events at honolulufamily.com/calendar and honolulumagazine.com/calendar.





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