8 Things You Should Know About the 2019 Best of Honolulu Festival

When to show up, what to buy and strategies for making the most of your visit.
best of honolulu festival
Photo: David Croxford


We’re in the heat of the summer, which means it’s almost time for the Best of Honolulu Festival presented by American Savings Bank. The July issue of HONOLULU names more than 130 winners chosen by readers and our hard-working team of taste-testers and researchers. Find out which businesses won in the magazine (available now!), then try some of these bests—from sunglasses to burgers—in person at our fourth annual shindig at the Honolulu Hale civic grounds. On July 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. you’ll find shopping and food booths, sponsor prizes, entertainment and more. Here are eight things you need to know to make the best of the event.


1. It’s free!

There’s no entrance fee to the festival and there’s plenty of free parking in the municipal lot (enter on South Beretania Street), but you’ll want to bring cash for all the pizza, gyoza, jewelry, artwork and more that vendors will be selling. Many booths take credit cards, but not all. You can even get a free haircut from the Mojo Barbershop booth and enter to win prizes and giveaways from others.


SEE ALSO: Mojo Barbershop Arrives


2. It’s the kickoff to HONOLULU Family’s Cover Kids search.

Every year, hundreds of families enter their keiki for a chance to be featured on the cover of HONOLULU Family. Online submissions are $10, but at the Best of Honolulu Festival, it’s free to sign up and get your kid’s photo taken by a professional photographer. Entrants must be between the ages of 1 and 12. Be sure to stop by early since the line gets long quickly and no one will be allowed in line after 1:45 p.m. Click here for more tips and info.


3. Come hungry.

There will be more than 15 food booths at the event, including Butcher & Bird sausages, ‘Ulu Mana’s ulu hummus, Sweet Revenge mini pies and Ubae’s purple everything, so no matter what time you swing by, do so on an empty stomach. We know you can’t possibly try them all, so we’ve put together a cheat sheet with tips on what to try first (or last). Click here for the complete list.


SEE ALSO: Meat Your Maker: Butcher & Bird is Now Open at Salt


4. Bring a reusable bag.

Our festival marketplace is chock-full of great gifts, from Auds and Ends beach accessories to Jules + Gem candles, as well as women’s clothing, jewelry, handbags, art and more. Bring your own tote to carry all your goodies (and a water bottle and sunscreen) and keep your hands free for pie. Click here for our guide to shopping at the festival.


SEE ALSO: These 9 Stylish Eco-Friendly Products Will Help You Save The Planet


5. Get a limited-edition collab shirt.

We’re partnering with Aloha Revolution (VH07V) to offer special women’s and men’s tees in an extremely limited run. New subscribers can stop by the HONOLULU booth near the stage to subscribe to the magazine and receive a T-shirt for free. Credit card only.


SEE ALSO: Sneak Peek: Our Latest Collab Drops This Saturday and It’s Just for New Print Subscribers


6. We want to meet you!

While you’re getting your tee and subscription, ask our HONOLULU Magazine and HONOLULU Family staffers any questions and share your thoughts about the festival and HONOLULU in general. This is also where you can pick up a map so you can plan your route. 


7. Check out the family-friendly entertainment on stage.

There will be various performances throughout the day on our entertainment stage presented by Southwest Airlines, so check this page closer to the festival for a schedule. Bring a towel or low chair to sit on the lawn in the shade and enjoy music, dance and more. Click here for our entertainment guide.


8. Get instant printouts of your photos.

Show us what you love about the festival by tagging your photos on Instagram with @honolulumag and #honolulumagazine. Anything with the hashtag #bestofhonolulufestival will be printed onsite at the HDS booth for you to pick up and take home for free.


Hope to see you there!


HONOLULU Magazine’s fourth annual Best of Honolulu Festival takes place on Saturday, July 20, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Honolulu Hale civic grounds, 530 S. King St., honolulumagazine.com/bestofhonolulu. A portion of the proceeds to benefit aio Foundation / Kahauiki Village.