Your Insider Guide to the 19th Annual Korean Festival

Eat kim chee, dance Gangnam style, enjoy cultural performances, listen to K-pop and support Maui at this year’s Korean Festival.


Korean Festival Drummers

Photo: Courtesy of Korean Festival


From your Korean drama-watching baa-chan to your little Gangnam mini, there’s something for everyone at this year’s Korean Festival. In its 19th year, the annual festival is one of the largest and most popular cultural festivals on the island—last year, more than 35,000 people attended the festival. Here’s your guide to what you can eat, drink, watch and buy, where to park and so much more.


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SEE ALSO: Our Guide: Honolulu Summer Festivals


Korean Festival Cultural Attire

Photo: Courtesy of Korean Festival


What It Is

Presented by the Hawai‘i Korean Chamber of Commerce, the annual festival unites the community with live performances, family activities, eating contests and products for sale, both locally made and imported from South Korea. More than 500 volunteers help out, representing about 40 Korean and local organizations at the event.


Organizers expect about 35,000 attendees. Net proceeds will go to the Korean Chamber of Commerce to help the local Korean and broader communities through trade and tourism missions, support of business-friendly legislation, student scholarships, free seminars for seniors and much more.


There are exciting new things this year: more keiki activities and games, an increased emphasis on K-pop with the Korean Song Talent Contest and a KPOP Dance Contest, double the food offerings from 2022, increased parking options, including a trolley to take guests from different lots, and credit cards will now be accepted for scrip purchases. There will also be a Gangnam Style flash mob during the festival.


A portion of all scrip sales at the Korean Festival will go toward Maui wildfire relief efforts. There will also be a tent at the festival taking monetary donations, nonperishable food, clothing, toiletries, bedding, pillows and other needed items.


SEE ALSO: Maui Wildfires: How to Support Our Maui Neighbors From O‘ahu


Korean Festival Cultural Performance

Photo: Courtesy of Korean Festival


When and Where

The Korean Festival is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Honolulu Hale Civic Grounds, 650 S. King St.


How Much It Costs

Admission is free. Food, products and most on-site activities will require purchase of scrips. You can purchase scrips with cash or credit card at designated booths around the venue.


Where to Park

Parking is free in the Honolulu Hale parking garage, but it can fill up fast. A new trolley this year will take guests from designated lots to the festival. There is also street parking available nearby.


SEE ALSO: O‘ahu Bon Dance Schedule 2023


Korean Festival Bbq

Photo: Courtesy of Korean Festival


What to Eat, Drink and Buy

Here’s a tentative menu of food offerings:

  • Hawai‘i Christian Church: Kimbap, Kimchi Pancake, Ho Dduk, Dduk Bbok Gi, Bulgogi Bento
  • Hawaiian Honey Cones: Hokkaido Ice Cream in J-Shaped Cone
  • Island Sausage: Spicy Korean Sausage with pickled daikon, kim chee and gochujang sauce; Kalbi Sausage with chojang cabbage
  • Kukui Food/Soju Garden: Soonhari Soju Cocktail Flavors, Chum Churum Soju
  • Luna Events: Bulgogi Tacos, Bulgogi Nachos
  • Voyage by Chef Amin: Cinnamon Sugar or Sujo Caramel Fritters, Korean-Inspired Carnitas Tacos
  • Steak Farm: Steak Plate, BBQ Chicken plate, Fried Shrimp and Tartar Sauce Plate, Bulgogi Lunch Plate
  • Onokai Restaurant: Bibimbap, Bento, Fried Chicken with Spicy Sauce, Kim Chi
  • Khan Skewer: Pork Belly Wrap with Kim Chee, Lamb Skewer, Beef Skewer, Pork Belly Skewer
  • Corn Onoz: Roasted Corn
  • Jackie’s Diner: Cup Bap, Poke Bowl, Beef Stew, Kim Chee Pastele Plate, Teriyaki Chicken Plate, Haupia and Ube Haupia
  • Bite Size 808: Poi Mochi, Banana Lumpia, Butter Mochi, Brownies, Cupcakes, Bookies, Cheesecake
  • O’Kims: Sodduck, Yuzu Lemonade (donating 100% of food sales to Maui United Way for fire relief)
  • Slice by HB Baking: Cutie Pies, Davey’s Doodles, Cinny Toast Munch, Chef’s Seasonal Snack
  • Metro Christian Church: Marinated Korean Pork Belly Sandwich
  • HK Lucky: Mandoo, BBQ Chicken, Kimbap
  • Island Fiyah Grill: Kalbi Plate, Chicken Plate, Mix Plate


Khan Skewer Pork Belly Wrap With Kim Chee

Photo: Courtesy of Khan Skewer


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Korean Festival K Pop Dancers

Photo: Courtesy of Korean Festival


Kids’ Activities

There will be a Kids’ Tent/Culture Area open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. where keiki can learn more about Korean culture, language and heritage. The Kiddie Zone will have traditional games at 5 scrip per play where everyone can win a prize. There will also be free activities like:

  • Storytime featuring local author and illustrator Kimberly Ratliff sharing her Korean American children’s picture book Seoul Finds Her Talent
  • Color along with Artist Genie and her featured illustrations
  • Learn how to play Baduk with the Honolulu Baduk (Go) Club and Myungwan Kim, 9 Dan Korean professional baduk player
  • Play traditional games (yutnori and gonggi-nori) and learn about Korean Language Exchange with the Hawaii Korean-English Language Exchange Group


Jjajangmyeon Eating Contest

Photo: Courtesy of Korean Festival


Eating Contests

There will be a Kim Chee Eating Contest, Jjajangmyeon Eating Contest and Spicy Chicken Ramen Eating Contest. This year, sign-ups for all three contests will be at 3 p.m. near the main stage. You’ll only be able to sign up for one contest, and there are 12 spots per contest, with a small number of alternates.


Korean Festival Breakdancing

Photo: Courtesy of Korean Festival


Entertainment Schedule

10:45 to 11:15 a.m. Korean Farmers Music Association

12 p.m. Opening Remarks

1 p.m. Halla Huhm

2:25 p.m. K-Pop Dance

3:30 p.m. Crossing Rain

4 p.m. Gangnam Style Dance

4:05 p.m. Kim Chee Eating Contest, Jjajangmyeon Eating Contest, Spicy Chicken Noodle Eating Contest

5 p.m. K-Pop Dance – Switch, K-era, Kirei, Gangnam Style Dance

5:20 p.m. K-Pop Singing Contest

6 p.m. K-Pop Dance Contest

7 p.m. Singer Jeong Hong II and Guitarist 2km from Korea

8:15 p.m. Closing Remarks


Note: Times are subject to change.



Korean Festival Audience

Photo: Courtesy of Korean Festival



  • Arrive early—more than 35,000 attendees are expected at the daylong event. If you aren’t in the mood for standing in long food lines, consider arriving when the festival opens.
  • Bring mats or lawn chairs if you plan to eat outside and picnic with your family and friends.
  • There will be plenty of walking, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes. Don’t forget hats and sunscreen!
  • If you’re planning to drink alcohol, arrange for a ride or designated driver in your party.


Korean Festival, free, Honolulu Hale Civic Grounds, 650 S. King St., Aug. 19, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.,, @koreanfestival