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Your Guide to Attending the 2018 ‘Ukulele Picnic in Kaka‘ako

Everything you need to know about this musical Sunday in the park.


Ukulele Picnic 2018

Photos: Courtesy of ‘Ukulele Picnic in Hawai‘i


Good music, delicious food, a beautiful park—how’s that for a perfect Sunday? The ‘Ukulele Picnic is a family-friendly event open to the public and will feature live music, local vendors, and plenty of aloha. The event is hosted by The ‘Ukulele Foundation of Hawai‘i, a nonprofit organization supporting music in education and spreading love for the arts in the Islands. The organization’s goal is to build an ‘ukulele museum to share the history and love of the instrument. All money raised at this event will go toward the museum.


The picnic began as a celebration of love and peace inspired by Ehime Maru monument. This monument was built in memory of nine people (four of whom were high schoolers) who lost their lives in 1991 when their fishery training ship collided with a U.S. Navy submarine. Honoring the memory of these young sailors, and the warmth shown by local people in the wake of tragedy, this year will mark the 10th anniversary of the ‘Ukulele Picnic.


When and Where

Mark your calendar for Sunday, Feb. 11. The picnic kicks off at 9 a.m. at Kaka‘ako Gateway Park, and will wind down around sunset.




Ukulele Picnic 2018


The lineup features renowned ‘ukulele artists from both Hawai‘i and Japan. Headlining this event will be the newly formed group “1933 ‘Ukulele All Stars”—a band of five Japanese celebrities all widely revered for their shared love of the instrument. The stage will also welcome many local talents, such as Herb Ohta Jr., Kuana Torres Kahele and more. You can check out the full lineup here.


Besides the main stage music, there will be lots of great booths to browse. Check out the ‘ukulele exhibits and, if you’re inspired, buy your own ‘ukulele. There will be activities for the keiki and traditional Hawaiian arts and crafts.


Food and Drink

Ukulele Picnic 2018


It wouldn’t be a picnic without good food! Bring a little cash so you can enjoy some local favorites like Hawaiian plate lunch, curry and rice, shave ice and crepes. For the grown-ups, alcohol is welcome in pre-designated areas.


What to Bring

Ukulele Picnic 2018


Besides comfortable clothing and aloha spirit, consider bringing some mats for lawn seating. Expect a sunny day with a chance of light showers in the morning. The temperature is anticipated to be in the high 70s, so come prepared with protective clothing and sunscreen.


Transportation and Parking

There will be free parking at Kaka‘ako Park, but this is sure to fill up quickly. Nearby UH offers in and out privileges from its lot for $5. If you don’t feel like dealing with the parking fiasco, hop on the free shuttle from Waikīkī to the park, running from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.



Though the park has a few public restrooms, there will be portable toilets set up for the public during the event, so consider bringing some hand sanitizer.



Because the event is free and open to everyone, it’s staffed mainly by volunteers. If you’d like to take part and help spread the music and love, you can volunteer through the contact page on the website.


Free, 9 a.m. to sunset, Feb. 11, Kaka‘ako Gateway Park, 461 Cooke St., ukulelepicnichawaii.org/en


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Honolulu Magazine May 2018
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