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Your Guide to the 2017 Aloha Festivals Celebrating Hawaiian Culture

Say “aloha” to the start of the biggest Hawaiian cultural celebration in the U.S. on Saturday, Sept. 9.


aloha festivals opening ceremony

Photos: Courtesy of Aloha Festivals


What began as Aloha Week in 1946 is now known as Aloha Festivals, a monthlong cultural celebration of music, dance and history meant to perpetuate Hawaiian culture. This year’s event features a grand opening ceremony, as well as, the 65th annual Waikīkī Hoʻolaule‘a and the 71st annual floral parade.


Royal Court Opening Ceremony

The Aloha Festivals Royal Court will be introduced on the grounds of Helumoa originally the home of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. Court members will receive their royal cloaks, helmets, feather lei and other symbols of their reign, just as actual royalty did in ancient Hawaiian times. Hula and chants will follow the investiture, marking the start of the Aloha Festivals. We recommend getting to the royal court event early, as seating is very limited. Standing-room space fills fast, too, as lots of passers-by from in and around the Royal Hawaiian stop to watch the ceremony. There is no designated parking specifically for the event, but paid parking for $6 an hour is available in the Royal Hawaiian Center parking garage accessible from both Lewers Street and Royal Hawaiian Avenue. Also, street parking is available around Waikīkī, if you’re willing and able to make a bit of a trek.

Free, Sept. 9, 4 p.m., Royal Hawaiian Hotel


Waikīkī Ho‘olaule‘a

Later this month, Hawaiʻi’s largest block party, the 65th annual Waikīkī Ho‘olaule‘a, is a night of food, fun and entertainment along Kalākaua Avenue. Attendees can enjoy live Hawaiian music and performances by hula hālau, savor local grinds and shopping for Hawaiian crafts and flower lei. Be sure to arrive early to find parking, and bring cash for the various booths.

Free, Sept. 23, 7 to 10 p.m., Kalākaua Avenue.


Floral Parade

aloha festivals floral parade

Aloha Festivals 2017 ends with the 71st annual floral parade on Sept. 30: a beautiful procession of floats covered with Hawaiian flowers, Hawaiian music, hula hālau and, of course, multiple pāʻu horseback riders. It’s a fun end to the festivals, and great for the whole family. Get there early to find street parking and a good seat for optimal viewing.

Free, Sept. 30, 9 a.m. to noon, Ala Moana Beach Park through Kalākaua Avenue to Kapiʻolani Park




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Honolulu Magazine March 2018
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