Your Ultimate Guide to the 2017 Pan-Pacific Festival
Come to Waikīkī this Friday, June 9, through Sunday, June 11, for a weekend of festivities and performances.
Photos: David Croxford
It’s time again to celebrate local and international culture at the 38th annual Pan-Pacific Festival, held this Friday, June 9, through Sunday, June 11, in Waikīkī. The festival brings people together with the hope of creating a more global community through the sharing and celebrating of cultures. The weekend-long festival showcases nearly 100 different performance groups and organizations from around the world.
Enjoy daily performing arts showcases at Ala Moana Center’s Centerstage, the International Market Place and the Waikīkī Beach Walk Plaza stage. The showcases feature traditional Japanese songs and dances, hula performances and other cultural presentations from more than 25 local and international groups. Many of the Japanese performances are unique to certain regions of Japan and tell of folklore and traditions. Thai, Filipino and Korean groups are also among the various ethnicities represented.
Hula enthusiasts won’t want to miss the 17th Annual Pan-Pacific Hula Festival happening nightly throughout the festival at the Kūhiō Beach Hula Mound. Come see local hula hālau, as well as groups from Japan. Halau O Napuala ‘Ikauika ‘Iu, led by kumu hula Sally Yoza, will also perform a special exhibition under the beautiful banyan tree.
The Pan-Pacific Festival began in 1980 as Matsuri in Hawai‘i (“matsuri” is Japanese for “festival”) to increase interaction between Hawai‘i and Japan. The festival founders wanted to expose more people in Hawai‘i to the traditional Japanese culture with music, dance, food, crafts and more. In 1996, Matsuri in Hawai‘i broadened its scope and appeal by including performers from other Pacific Rim cultures to become the Pan-Pacific Festival.
Kick off the weekend with a Pan-Pacific Ho‘olaule‘a on Friday, a Punahele Party on Saturday, and conclude the festivities with a Pan-Pacific Parade on Sunday.
FRIDAY, JUNE 9
7–10 p.m., Kalākaua Avenue from Seaside Avenue to Uluniu Avenue
The festive block party takes over Waikīkī with multiple stages along Kalākaua Avenue, featuring cultural performances that include taiko drums and Korean dance, live entertainment by local and international groups, and local crafters and vendors along with food booths.
Street Dance Festival in Hawai‘i
6:30–9 p.m., Waikīkī Beach Walk Plaza Stage
Japan and Hawai‘i’s hottest street dance troupes are ready to entertain crowds at the Second Annual Street Dance Festival. World-renowned choreographer and professional dancer Kento Mori—who has worked with Madonna, Usher, Ne-Yo, Ciara and Chaka Khan—will give performers his top dance tips. Mori will also perform a special routine at the Moana Surfrider on Sunday before the Pan-Pacific Parade.
SATURDAY, JUNE 10
6:30–9:30 p.m., Waikīkī Beach Walk Plaza Stage
Experience the tradition of hula as hālau perform their favorite songs accompanied by one of Hawai‘i’s treasured musicians and Nā Hōku Hanohano Award winner, Weldon Kekauoha. Kekauoha is known to captivate audiences with his slow ballads sung in a sweet, distinguished voice.
SUNDAY, JUNE 11
5–7 p.m., Kalākaua Avenue, from Fort DeRussy to Kapi‘olani Park
The festivities conclude with the Pan-Pacific Parade along Kalākaua Avenue, starting at Fort DeRussy and ending at Kapi‘olani Park. Don’t miss the mix of colorful performances, dynamic drummers, dancers, high school marching bands and cultural groups from around the world. Hundreds of marchers parading down Kalākaua Avenue at sunset make this the perfect way to close out the Pan-Pacific Festival.
All events are free and open to the public. Parking can be hectic, but check out our Waikīkī Parking Guide for details on where to park.
For a full schedule of events and more information, head to pan-pacific-festival.com, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
READ MORE STORIES BY ALYSSA AMASOL