Your Guide to the Perfect Weekend in Honolulu: Jan. 11–14, 2018

Experience a Japanese-style New Year’s celebration, find out what’s new with the Shanghai circus, see Hannibal Buress live and more.


How many ways can you celebrate the new year? Well, here’s one more. Ring in 2018 (and the upcoming year of the dog) with Shintō blessings, kimono, mochi pounding and more at Hawai‘i’s largest festival celebrating Japanese New Year traditions. Plus, find out what’s new about the Shanghai circus coming into town, see funnyman Hannibal Buress live and watch dance groups turn on their beast mode at Diverse Art Center’s high school dance competition.


New Year's Ohana Festival

photos: courtesy of New Year's ‘Ohana Festival


New Year’s ‘Ohana Festival

Sunday, Jan. 14, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where can you go to enjoy kimono and KC waffle dogs at the same time? We know. This Sunday, bring the whole family to ring in 2018 Nippon style at the 25th annual New Year’s ‘Ohana Festival, the state’s biggest celebration of Japan’s new year customs, plus a craft fair and food vendors (including, yes, waffle dogs). Held at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i and nearby Mōʻiliʻili Field, the festival will offer Shintō blessings and omamori, a traditional Japanese tea ceremony and a mochi-pounding demonstration, with plenty of other cultural performances, live entertainment and pop-up shopping throughout the venue (see a full map here). This year, the ‘Ohana Festival marks its silver anniversary with a brand-new event honoring the gannen mono, or the Islands’ first group of Japanese immigrants, who arrived from Yokohama 150 years ago to work in the sugar plantations and later established Hawai‘i’s Issei.

Free, Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i, 2454 S. Beretania St. For more information, go here.


The New Shanghai Circus

Saturday, Jan. 13 and Sunday, Jan. 14

Who needs old Shanghai, anyway? Presented by the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, the New Shanghai Circus breathes new life into China’s 2,500-year-old performance art tradition with glittery contemporary costumes, dramatic lighting and anything-but-basic pizzazz. Enjoy a variety show of acrobats, jugglers, knife throwers and contortionists (with the flexibility your Corepower instructor dreams about) showcasing their skills through daring feats and superhuman stunts—juggling gigantic pottery jars, balancing wooden benches on their heads, climbing tall poles—all with an air of ease that may tempt you to try them at home. Don’t.

$15–$39, Blaisdell Concert Hall, 777 Ward Ave. For more information and to purchase tickets, go here.


Hannibal Buress

photo: Courtesy of Hannibal Buress


Hannibal Buress

Thursday, Jan. 11 and Friday, Jan. 12, 7 and 9:30 p.m.

The comedian’s stand-up gained him his first fans, but it was a routine calling out Cosby, which went viral in 2014, that put him on the radar for the rest of us. Since then, Buress’ popularity has only grown. He’s written for Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock, acted in Comedy Central’s Broad City and co-hosted Adult Swim’s The Eric and Andre Show. Catch the comedian, performing this Thursday and Friday at Blue Note Hawai‘i.

$45, Blue Note Hawai‘i, 2335 Kalākaua Ave. For more information and to purchase tickets, go here.


Honozulu Beast Dance Competition

Saturday, Jan. 13 at 5:30 p.m.

The Diverse Art Center encourages keiki to explore their creative side in a positive, supportive environment. Focusing on urban arts, instructors hail from a range of creative industries and offer some of the most unique courses on the island. Students can sign up to learn anything from break dancing to hip-hop-style mural lettering to rapping to tumbling. If any of these sound like something your kid would enjoy, head to McKinley High School this Saturday for the Diverse Art Center’s Honozulu Beast dance competition and get a taste of what the center’s all about. Plus, enjoy dance performances, live art and food and retail pop-ups. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and tickets can be purchased at the event.

$10–$15, MicKinley High School Auditorium, 1039 S. King St. For more information, go here.


Looking for more things to do? Check out our events calendar.




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