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Your Guide to the Perfect Labor Day Weekend: Sept. 1–3, 2017

A lineup of the weekend’s best events.


Andagi, oki dogs, champuru and chili. We’re making up for lost food from last year’s canceled event (thanks, Hurricane Lester, ya jerk) at this year’s Okinawan Festival. If you’re more about chickpeas than pig’s feet soup, head to Honolulu Hale for a veggie celebration with seminars, chef demos and dishes that may just convince you to go vegan. Plus, celebrate art on First Friday with a showcase of short films crafted by local professionals, students and hobbyists (all shorter than 25 minutes, for those with average milliennial-length attention spans) and a special exhibition by the Friends of HiSAM that features six of Hawai‘i’s most pivotal artists.


35th annual Okinawan Festival

PHOTO: COURTESY OF Okinawan Festival


35th Annual Okinawan Festival

Saturday, Sept. 2, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 3, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Who else was majorly bummed out when, last year, the Hawai‘i-bound Hurricane Lester (almost literally) rained on our Okinawan Festival parade? Dreams of Okinawan treats and bon dancing under the stars, swept away by warnings of possible severe weather that never came (no shade at Guy Hagi—the man’s just doing his job). But if luck—and weather—is on our side, which weather reports indicate to be the case, the 35th annual Okinawan Festival is a go! Saturday and Sunday offer plenty of opportunities to make up for lost time, which will be spent devouring sweet-and-savory andadogs, oki dogs, crisp andagi, champuru and pig’s feet soup. Usually, we park ourselves on the lawn for a few hours to digest and enjoy the festival’s lineup of entertainment. But this year we feel inspired to compete in the andagi eating contest, Saturday at 4 p.m. or Sunday at 2:40 p.m., because the chance to stuff our faces with delicious Okinawan doughnuts without judgement is just too good to pass up. Our tip: Start your festival fun at 9 a.m., when the event starts, to avoid crowds, long lines and the afternoon heat.

Free, Kapiʻolani Park, 3840 Pākī Ave. For more information on this event, go here.


This month’s Weekend Picks Sponsored by:
Kono's North Shore

The ‘Ohina Short Film Showcase

Friday, Sept. 1, 7 p.m.

As much as we loved Forgetting Sarah Marshall and 50 First Dates, we all know there’s a lot more to Hawai‘i than the touristy Turtle Bay Resort and Rob Schneider’s butchered pidgin. The ‘Ohina Short Film Showcase was created for our local independent filmmakers who want to share their Hawai‘i stories. This year’s 10 screened shorts—25-minute-or-shorter films that feature Hawai‘i or were made by residents of Hawai‘i—were created by pros, students and hobbyists who love the craft, and were specially selected from this year’s batch of entries by an all-volunteer, independent board of industry professionals. We don’t know about you, but we’re excited to see the amazing breadth of homegrown talent.

$7–$50. Hawai‘i Theatre, 1130 Bethel St. For more information and to purchase tickets, go here.


VegFest Oahu

PHOTO: Courtesy of Vegfest O‘ahu


VegFest O‘ahu

Saturday, Sept. 2, noon to 5:30 p.m.

Even with all their benefits, a lot of us have a hard time getting enough fruits and vegetables into our diets. To be honest, we’ve probably used more veggies in emoji form than cooking at home. This Saturday, VegFest O‘ahu, a free community festival that’s all about plant-based, sustainable living, will take over Honolulu Hale with speakers and chef demos dedicated to educating people on the benefits of going vegan. And, while we do love our burgers and steak, if the chef demo of barbecue pulled jackfruit, ‘Ulu Mana’s breadfruit hummus or the falafel plate from Ke Nui Kitchen (pictured above) taste as good as they look, we’ll skip the Big Mac.

Free, Honolulu Hale, 530 S. King St. For more information on this event, go here.


SEE ALSO: 6 Reasons You Should Go To VegFest O‘ahu


Friends of HiSAM’s Artists 2017 Portfolio Show

Friday, Sept. 1, 6 to 9 p.m.

Friends of Hawai‘i State Art Museum celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Art in Public Places Program, which jump-started many artists’ careers by making art accessible to the public, with a special exhibition on First Friday that showcases works by six local artists, each of whom reflect the many generations and movements in our art history. Sculptures, prints and paintings created by Satoru Abe, Allyn Bromley, Jodi Endicott, John Koga, Carl F.K. Pao and Abigail Romanchak will be on display, free for the public to enjoy, on the ground-floor Artizen space of Hawai‘i State Art Museum. The now-open (and super hip) HiSAM Gallery Shop x MORI by Art + Flea will also have its own display of new works to complement the exhibition. HiSAM, also celebrating First Friday, will have its galleries open late and offer live music on its second floor, so bring your family, meet local artists and see some of the best art Hawai‘i has to offer.

Free, Hawai‘i State Art Museum, 250 S. Hotel St. For more information on Friends of Hawai‘i State Art Museum, visit its Facebook page. For more information on Hawai‘i State Art Museum, go here.



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




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