Your Total Guide to This Weekend’s Honolulu Festival
The 22nd annual festival runs from March 11–13.
Photos: Courtesy of Honolulu Festival Foundation
Instead of binge watching Fuller House on Netflix spend your weekend by learning about different cultures at the 22nd Honolulu Festival. The festival is a mixture of educational activities, performances and celebrations intended to inspire harmony and goodwill between the people of Hawai‘i and those in the Pacific Rim region. The theme of the festival is “Pacific Harmony,” and this year’s sub-themes are “Cultural Harmony” and “Journey to Peace.” The festival takes place on March 11–13 and most of the events are at the Hawai‘i Convention Center. Throughout the weekend you can view hula performances, attend lectures and learn about new cultures. There’s something for everyone all weekend (multiple bon dances, stage performances and movies), but here are the activities you don’t want to miss.
The Friendship Gala’s main mission is to unite festivalgoers in support of the Honolulu Festival Foundation and to recognize top contributors. But, if we’re being honest, the main reason to go is for the amazing food and entertainment. A $90 ticket gets you unlimited food and one beverage, and you’ll enjoy fare from Artizen, Bread & Butter, The Nook and more. Plus, you’ll see performances from Raiatea Helm, local duo Kupaoa and many more groups from Japan. Come for the food and stay for the new friends that you could make.
Friday, March 11, 7 to 10:30 p.m., $90 for 21+, $70 under 21. Free for children under 6, purchase tickets here.
The Honolulu Festival’s Craft Fair features vendors from Hawai‘i, Japan and more to bring you the best in local and international wares. Browse the stalls for modern and traditional omiyage, or attend demonstrations to make your own cultural crafts. And be sure to check out Hawai‘i’s own Art + Flea vendors, who have their own section.
Saturday, March 12, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Peace On Your Wings
This free show features selections from the musical Peace On Your Wings. The story centers on the true story of Sadako Sasaki, who died of radiation from the Hiroshima bomb, interwoven with a fictional story about her friends who rallied to have a monument built to honor the victims of the atomic bomb.
Saturday, March 12, 11 a.m. to noon and 4 to 5 p.m. and Sunday, March 13, 11 a.m. to noon, Hawai‘i Convention Center room #310.
Aloha Dance Convention
This dance competition is sure to inspire you to get in formation. The competition features groups of all genres competing for the chance to be featured in the Grand Parade at the end of the festival.
Saturday, March 12, 6:30 to 9:20 p.m.
Honolulu Rainbow Ekiden
The Honolulu Rainbow Ekiden is a relay race through Kapi‘olani Park that brings runners together in the spirit of harmony. Each lap is five kilometers (about three miles) and participants receive a shirt and commemorative medal, among other prizes. Sign up to be on a team, or just come to watch the race. Winners in each category, such as “Best Family Bonding Team,” can win gift certificates for stores or restaurants and stay at local hotels.
Sunday, March 13, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Kapi‘olani Park, honoluluekiden.com
Grand Parade and Nagaoka Fireworks Show
Cap off your weekend with the Honolulu Festival’s Grand Parade and Nagaoka Fireworks Show. The parade kicks off at 4 p.m. and features performances from participating groups from all over the world. Prepare to be amazed by hit songs, dance numbers and epic parade floats. At the end of the night, watch as the Nagaoka Fireworks Show commemorates world peace.
Sunday, March 13, 4 to 8:30 p.m.
For a full schedule of the Honolulu Festival visit honolulufestival.com