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Your Ultimate Guide to the 2019 Pan-Pacific Festival in Honolulu

Kick off the start of summer with a cultural extravaganza from June 7 to 9.


Published:

This post was originally published online on June 7, 2018. It was updated on May 28, 2019.

 

pan-pacific festival 2019 cover dance parade

PHOTOS: courtesy of pan-pacific festival

 

It’s time once again to celebrate local and international culture at the 40th annual Pan-Pacific Festival, held Friday, June 7, through Sunday, June 9. The longstanding event brings people together with the hope of creating a more global community through the sharing and celebrating of cultures. Free events and performances showcase about 100 groups and organizations from around the world.

 

What It Is

The festival started in 1980 as a way to foster good ties between the Islands and Japanese visitors, who were coming to Hawai‘i in ever-growing numbers. Back then, the event was known as Matsuri in Hawai‘i (in Japanese, matsuri means festival). But in 1996, it was renamed the Pan-Pacific Festival, as organizers sought to broaden its reach to include other cultures.

 

Enjoy daily performances at Ala Moana Centerstage, the International Market Place, Waikīkī Beach Walk and more, as well as crafts, food and cultural demonstrations.

 

SEE ALSO: Best of the Fests: O‘ahu’s 21 Annual Ethnic Festivals

 

pac-pacific festival 2019 taiko drums

 

Schedule of Events

Don't miss out on these popular events, which are all free and open to the public.
 

  • Friday, June 7, and Saturday, June 8, at 4 p.m. and Sunday, June 9, at 7:30 p.m.: Pan-Pacific Hula Festival at Kūhiō Beach

Hula enthusiasts won’t want to miss this hula show, featuring local hālau, as well as groups from Japan. Hālau O Napuala ‘Ikauika ‘Iu, led by kumu hula Sally Yoza, will also perform a special exhibition daily.
 

  • Friday, June 7, at 6:30 p.m.: Street Dance Fest at Waikīkī Beach Walk

Get ready for some of Japan and Hawai‘i’s hottest street dance troupes performing an eclectic mix of hip-hop, jazz-funk and more. Special guests include members from ST kingz, a popular Japanese performance and choreography team.
 

  • Friday, June 7, at 7 p.m.: Pan-Pacific Ho‘olaule‘a on Kalākaua Avenue from Seaside to Uluniu avenues

This festive block party takes over Waikīkī with multiple stages along Kalākaua Avenue with cultural performances such as taiko drumming, a bon dance, Hawaiian music and Korean dance, along with food and craft booths. (If you're in the area, make sure to take another route—the streets will be closed to traffic.)
 

  • Saturday, June 8, at 7:30 p.m.: Punahele Party at Waikīkī Beach Walk

Experience the tradition of hula as hālau perform to their favorite songs, accompanied by local entertainers. The event is more casual than the hula festival and allows attendees to jump in and dance.
 

  • Sunday, June 9, at 5 p.m.: Pan-Pacific Parade on Kalākaua Avenue from Fort DeRussy to Kapi‘olani Regional Park

The Pan-Pacific Parade caps off the weekend with a procession down Kalākaua Avenue filled with hundreds of performers from around the world. Don’t miss the mix of colorful acts, including hula dancers, taiko drummers, ‘ukulele strummers, lion-dragon performers, flag twirlers, high school marching bands and more.

 

pan-pacific festival 2019 lion dance

 

SEE ALSO: 2018 Pan-Pacific Festival Photo Gallery

 

Where to Park

Check out our Waikīkī Parking Guide for details on where to park during the festivities.

 

Tips

  • Bring cash to the Ho‘olaule‘a. Some vendors will not accept cards.

  • All venues are outdoors, so make sure to lather on sunscreen and wear comfortable shoes and clothing.

  • Performances are scheduled at multiple stages, so pack lightly. Bring a lightweight mat or beach towel to sprawl out on instead of heavy chairs and umbrellas. 

  • If you miss a performance, check the schedule. There is a good chance they will be performing at another stage at a later time.

  • Go to any shopping center (International Market Place, Ala Moana and Royal Hawaiian Center) for restrooms.

  • If you’d like to be part of Sunday’s bon dance, contact festival organizers at ppf@kihhnl.com.

 

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

 

pan-pacific festival 2019 filipino dance

 

For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit pan-pacific-festival.com.

 

Read more stories by Jayna Omaye

 

 

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