Honolulu Calendar: The Best Events and Things to Do on O‘ahu in September 2021

See ya later, sweaty summer: We’re ready to fall in love this season with a handful of amazing activities. Head to the Windward Side for photography workshops, the North Shore for a festival, Waikīkī for a race, then out west to support local businesses in Kapolei.


Editor’s Note: Due to constant changes to O‘ahu’s event dates, we will be adding to and updating this list every week.


The Best Events And Things To Do On Oahu In September 2021 Waikiki Roughwater Swim

Photo: Courtesy of Waikīkī Roughwater Swim / Cyndia Michelle




SWIM an Amazing Race


In 2020 the 51st Annual Waikīkī Roughwater Swim was canceled. But in 2019, the 2.4-mile race from Kaimana Beach to the beach in front of the Hilton Hawaiian Village lived up to its name. Hundreds of the more than 1,000 contestants had to be rescued during the event due to changing tides and strong currents. Let’s hope that 2021 brings calmer conditions to the somewhat unpredictable activity. Registration is open until the event day. Expect modifications to race procedures, but the start, finish and distance are unchanged. Read about 2019’s oldest female competitor as she prepared for the 50th edition at bit.ly/hn-roughwaterswim.


$95–$105, Sans Souci Beach, waikikiroughwaterswim.com


SEE ALSO: The Oldest Female Competitor Prepares for the 50th Annual Waikīkī Roughwater Swim 



Virtual Okinawan Festival

Through Sunday, Sept. 14

Read more



The Best Events And Things To Do On Oahu In September 2021 Air Supply Courtesy Of Paul Chin

Photo: Courtesy of Paul Chin




LISTEN to An Amazing Duo

Postponed to March 8–9 & 11–13, 2022

Are you all out of love or lost in love with the one that you love? No worries, the Australian duo Air Supply has songs for nearly every state of yearning. The soft rock band is coming to Honolulu for five live shows at the Blue Note Hawai‘i so you will have plenty of opportunities to express all of your feelings of soul-crushing love with four decades of hits.


Find more September events at Blue Note Hawai‘i at bluenotehawaii.com, @bluenotehawaii


SEE ALSO: 50 Greatest Songs of Hawai‘i



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A post shared by PhotoCON Hawai’i (@photoconhawaii)



LEARN to Take Amazing Images

In-person Sept. 11–12 event has been postponed. Virtual workshops from Sept. 2–8 will still take place.

Action sports, aquatography, automotive, drone, fashion, portrait, wedding: Take your pick at the 2021 PhotoCon Hawai‘i. Professional and aspiring photographers and videographers will have the chance to take workshops at stunning Kualoa Ranch. Attendees can look forward to a mix of virtual and in-person photo walks, master classes and exhibits.


photoconhawaii.com, @photoconhawaii


SEE ALSO: Aloha for the ‘Āina: A Curated Collection by Our Photographers



Buy Jo Koy Tix Now

Nov. 26 and 27

Read more


SEE ALSO: 62 Thoughts We Had While Watching Jo Koy’s Netflix Special, Comin’ In Hot



Join the Hawai‘i Bicycling League’s Honolulu Century Challenge on Sunday, Sept. 26, 6 a.m.–6 p.m. Check out hbl.org for details.




Artists of Hawai‘i Now

Sept. 9 to Jan. 16

Like many events, HoMA’s hallmark exhibit was postponed last year. But if anything, the pandemic reinforced these 18 local artists’ perspectives on domestic violence, what is sacred, houselessness, environmentalism and more.


Honolulu Museum of Art, honolulumuseum.org, @honolulumuseum




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A post shared by Waimea Valley (@waimeavalleyoahu)



Kalo & ‘Awa Festival

Postponed to Nov. 20, 2021

Take a trip to Waimea Valley for a day of learning at the Pīkake Pavilion. Talk to cultural practitioners and farmers on the Main Lawn to learn the ins and outs of taro, taste some kalo and ‘awa, and enjoy live music and hula.


Waimea Valley, waimeavalley.net@waimeavalleyoahu


SEE ALSO: Will These 4 Hawaiian Traditions Disappear Forever? Meet the Teachers Who Are Fighting to Keep Them Alive



End of Summer Gift Fair

Sept. 25, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Whether you’re ready for some retail therapy or getting an early start on holiday gifts, support local vendors and artisans who will be offering snacks, clothing, jewelry and more.


Ka Makana Ali‘i, islandcraftfairs.org



Poke Oyster Chile Marlin

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino




International Poke Day

Sept. 28

There’s no better place to celebrate International Poke Day than Hawai‘i with its wide variety of fresh and tasty options. We suggest heading to Tamashiro Market, the fan favorite winner of Frolic’s 2021 Poke Fest. Or check out what local poke shop owners and chefs recommend at their restaurants.


SEE ALSO: Poke As We Know It Now Isn’t Native Hawaiian. So What Is? 



Via Gelato Ice Cream Cake

Available through September

Read more



This story originally appeared as “September Picks” in the September 2021 issue of HONOLULU Magazine. Get your copy at shop.honolulumagazine.com and subscribe to the print and digital editions now.


Looking to get the word out about your upcoming event or activity? Email me at katiek@honolulumagazine.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.