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, honolulumuseum.org
Mō‘ili‘ili Summer Fest
Saturday, July 6 | 5–10 p.m.
PHOTO: TIEN ENGA
Don your best happi coat, grab an andagi and join a big bon dance.
1100 University Ave., free, moiliilisummerfest.com
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, hawaiitheatre.com
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, bluenotehawaii.com
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, diamondheadtheatre.com
FAIRS & EXPOS
Hawai‘i State Farm Fair
Saturday, July 13, 9 a.m.–7 p.m. | Sunday, July 14, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
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, hawaiistatefarmfair.org
Prince Lot Hula Festival
July 20, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. and July 21, 9 a.m.–3 p.m.
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, moanaluagardensfoundation.org
Best of Honolulu Festival
Saturday, July 20 | 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Photo: TIEN ENGA
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, honolulumagazine.com/bestofhonolulu
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, honolulu.gov/parks/hbg
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, tmrmusicfestival.com
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 HNLTix.com.