Your Guide to the Perfect Memorial Day Weekend: May 26–29, 2017

A lineup of the long weekend’s best events.

For some, this weekend gives us a much-needed extra day to relax. (Hey, you’re a hard-working, productive member of society and you deserve this.) For others, Memorial Day offers the special opportunity to honor and remember those we’ve lost. Whatever it is you need, our guide offers all the best happenings for your perfect long weekend.

  Lantern Floating Hawaii 2017



Lantern Floating Hawai‘i 2017

Monday, May 29, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Whether it’s from war, illness or accident, losing a loved one is never easy. On Memorial Day each year, tens of thousands gather at Ala Moana Beach to honor those who have passed, support each other through the grief of losing a loved one and show appreciation for the gifts of life. After a blessing by Her Holiness Shinso-Ito, head of Buddhist school Shinnyo-en, lanterns covered in photos and messages are lit, placed in the ocean and left to drift towards the sunset. Witnessing the thousands of lanterns as they make their way out to sea is nothing short of breathtaking; the ceremony itself will leave you with a feeling of peace and renewed gratitude for life and loved ones.

Note: For those unable to make it, stream the lantern floating ceremony online at and

Free, Ala Moana Beach Park, 1201 Ala Moana Blvd. For more information on the event, go here.


50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War

Monday, May 29 at 8:30 a.m.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, and on Memorial Day a special ceremony will be held at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl to honor all Vietnam-era veterans and recognize the service and sacrifice given for the sake of their country. The ceremony will include speeches, a cannon salute, a U.S. Air Force and Hawai‘i Air National Guard flyover, performances by the Royal Hawaiian Band and more. No public parking will be available on site, so plan accordingly—the event offers a free shuttle service, which will pick up attendees at Alapa‘i Transit Center (on the corner of King and Alapa‘i streets) from 5:30 to 7:30 a.m. Make sure you get to the National Memorial Cemetery by 8 a.m. sharp—after that, access into Punchbowl will be restricted until the ceremony is over. Bring sunscreen and water. Don’t bring a chair (they’re not allowed).

Free, The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl, 2177 Puowaina Drive. For more information on this and other events commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, go here.

  50th State Fair



50th State Fair

Friday, May 26 through Sunday, June 25

What do monster trucks, carnival rides and a costumed pig named Oink have in common? OK, not much, other than they’ll all be at the 2017 50th State Fair, which kicks off this Friday at 6 p.m. This year, EK Fernandez introduces two new zippy rides, The Seven Seas and The Speed, both of which we recommend trying out before—not after—you make your way toward the funnel cake stand. For those who prefer to keep their feet firmly planted on soil, the all-new Altervision 3-D Blacklight Experience brings outer space to you through 360-degree imagery and 3-D glasses. If you’re in for some giggles, head to the Pork Chop Revue, a comedy variety show where talented porcine performers (who, admittedly, are much more coordinated than ourselves) execute balancing acts, acrobatics, dancing, singing, basically everything short of actual flight. From June 8 to 18, D’Sturbed Monster Trucks will strike awe in your soul as they crush, crunch and utterly demolish cars before your eyes. Plus, the Anastasini Circus, let by ring master Giovanni Anastasini, an eighth-gen member of the world-renowned Anastasini circus family, will showcase his diverse group of international performers in the circus’ debut performance in Honolulu. If none of these do it for you, we’ve got two words that just may: carnival food.

$3–$5, free for children under 40 inches. Aloha Stadium, 99-500 Salt Lake Blvd., ‘Aiea. For more information on this event, go here.


RVCA and Billabong Spring Sample Sale

Friday, May 26, 5 to 9 p.m.

Sun’s out, buns out! … Except, well, the only bikini we own has seen better (and more elastic) days, and our closet is still in Hawai‘i-winter mode, with not a tank top in sight. The BF’s decade-old beachwear ain’t doing so hot, either, but we haven’t the heart to tell him that things just don’t fit like he’s 18 anymore. Don’t worry, we’ll get you ready just in time for Memorial Day weekend: Dig out of work early this Friday and stop by The Republik for the RVCA and Billabong spring sample sale. Beach-friendly brands RVCA, Billabong, Herschel Supply Co. and VISSLA will offer clothes, swimwear and accessories for you and your beau (and kids, if you’ve got ’em) at up to 50 percent off retail prices, meaning your guy can still buy that new Tomo surfboard and look fly when he wipes out on it.

Free, The Republik, 139 Kapiʻolani Blvd., Third Floor. For more information and to purchase tickets, go here.


Looking for more things to do this month? Click here for more events.