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).
FAIRS & EXPOS
Comic Con Honolulu
Friday, August 2–Sunday, August 4 | Various times
Photo: TIEN ENGA
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
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
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
Saturday, August 10 | 11 a.m.–8 p.m.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF HAWAI‘I KOREAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
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
FAIRS & EXPOS
Made in Hawai‘i Festival
Friday, August 16–Sunday, August 18 | Various times
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
Saturday, August 17–Sunday, August 25 | Various times
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.
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
Saturday, August 31–Sunday, September 1 | Various times
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
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.