The 11 Best Events on O‘ahu in July 2019

​A big bon dance, livestock shows, a podcasting comedian and a month of surf’s up in the movie theaters.


Honolulu Surf Film Festival

Saturday, July 6–Sunday, August 4 | Various times 


Watch beautiful barrels and wicked wipeouts, and travel across the globe in film at the 12th annual film fest. Local photographer Zak Noyle is the guest curator for this year’s lineup so we expect stunning sets. The monthlong event begins with an opening night reception ($30) with food and drinks in the Honolulu Museum of Art’s pavilion followed by the film White Rhino. The movie follows North Shore photographer Brian Bielmann as he captures epic swells in the South Pacific.

Doris Duke Theatre, various prices,


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



Mō‘ili‘ili Summer Fest

Saturday, July 6 | 5–10 p.m.

Bon dance


Don your best happi coat, grab an andagi and join a big bon dance.

1100 University Ave., free,


SEE ALSO: Your Ultimate Guide to the 2019 Mōʻiliʻili Summer Fest



Paula Poundstone

Saturday, July 6 | 8 p.m.


Her podcast complains that Nobody Listens to Paula Poundstone. That shouldn’t be the case, at least we hope, when the comedian hits the mic in Honolulu.

Hawai‘i Theatre, $40–$55,




Wednesday, July 10 | 6:30 p.m.


There’s just not enough African dance music in the Islands. So, mark your calendar for this one-night-only performance.

Blue Note Hawai‘i, $25–$45,




Friday, July 12–Sunday, August 4 | Various times

PHOTO: COURTESY OF Diamond Head Theatre


Bookworms, unite! The 5-year-old heroine of Roald Dahl’s classic book takes on her idiotic parents and mean school principal in song and dance.

Diamond Head Theatre, $15–$50,



Hawai‘i State Farm Fair

Saturday, July 13, 9 a.m.–7 p.m. | Sunday, July 14, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Hawaii state fair
Photo: David croxford


Local is the name of the game at this festival at the base of the Ko‘olau mountains. The event is run by the Hawai‘i Farm Bureau and state Department of Agriculture, so it’s no surprise you’ll find livestock, homegrown produce and plants to take home. Musicians will provide live entertainment, as will the chili pepper and watermelon-eating contests.

Kualoa Ranch, $5,



Prince Lot Hula Festival

July 20, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. and July 21, 9 a.m.–3 p.m.

Prince Lot
Photo: Aaron k. Yoshino


No trophies, no awards, just two days of hula in front of historic ‘Iolani Palace. Dozens of hālau perform in the largest noncompetitive celebration of hula in the state. If you want to park for free, plan to get downtown before the DLNR and Department of Health parking lots fill up. Then break out your beach chair.

‘Iolani Palace, free,



Best of Honolulu Festival

Saturday, July 20 | 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Brazilian cheese bread


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.

Honolulu Hale civic grounds, 530 S. King St., free,



Midsummer Night’s Gleam

Saturday, July 20 | 4–9 p.m.


A garden, 2,000 lanterns lighting up the night, live music and free admission. How could you go wrong?

Foster Botanical Garden, free,


All strings attached. The 49th Annual ‘Ukulele Festival is July 21.



The MayJah RayJah 2019 Music Festival

Friday, July 26 and Saturday, July 27 | 5 p.m.

Photo: Courtesy of Soja


Bob Marley’s son, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, and SOJA headline the 10th year of this reggae weekend. Last year, the festival, which used to call the Waikīkī Shell home, hopped over to a field in Kunia. But, this summer, fans will groove out at Aloha Stadium, so don’t count on sneaking in anything—security will confiscate it at the gate.

Aloha Stadium, $50–$200,


SEE ALSO: For more events in July, visit’s online calendar


Looking for fun new ways to experience the city? HONOLULU’s got you covered with HNLTix, your brand-new local resource for all things social—fundraisers, concerts, comedy shows, expos and everything in between. Discover your next can’t-miss event, share your favorites with friends, or promote your own event and sell tickets online. To see what’s coming up next in Honolulu, visit


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