Hawaiians love celebrations, and one of the biggest and oldest, the Pan-Pacific Festival, returns to Honolulu from June 13 to 15.
The free festival showcases culture and food from Hawaii and beyond. It gets into full swing on June 13 evening with a hoolaulea – that’s Hawaiian for block party – along Kalakaua Avenue, the main drag through Waikiki. The 7-10 p.m. event will feature craft booths, food stalls and live entertainment on various stages.
The festival was born in 1980 as a way for cultures of Japan (which sends thousands of tourists to Hawaii) and the island to cross-pollinate and grow in understanding. At first, the festival was called Matsuri (or festival) in Hawaii but was broadened in 1998 to include all Pacific neighbors.
Dozens of troupes of hula dancers will perform each day on the hula mound at Waikiki’s Kuhio Beach. The schedule also includes a food and product fair. Japanese foods can be sampled June 13-15 at the Marukai Wholesale Mart.
The festival concludes Sunday with a parade along Kalakaua Avenue. Marching bands and ethnic groups in colorful costumes will join thousands of participants. The parade steps off at 5 p.m.
Full schedule of events is available at the Pan-Pacific Festival website.