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Aloha spirit soars during free monthlong Aloha Festivals in Honolulu

Lanai Pau Princess Ronica Ann Ibara waves to the crowd during the 2016 Aloha Festival Floral Parade
Lanai Pau Princess Ronica Ann Ibara greets the crowd during a past Floral Parade.
(Eugene Tanner Photography)

One of the biggest and oldest festivals in Hawaii returns to the Honolulu area this month. Throughout September, locals and visitors are invited to Aloha Festivals, an annual celebration begun in 1946.

Tourists who want to experience the richness of Hawaiian culture can enjoy authentic food, hula, music and pageantry at the free activities, which include:

-- Pearlridge Keiki Hoolaulea, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 15. The Pearlridge Center in suburban Aiea hosts the Keiki Hoolaulea, in English the “children’s celebration.” Families can wander through the shopping mall to enjoy arts and crafts demonstrations as well as performances by musical groups and hula students.

The 2016 Aloha Festival Hoolaulea held on Kalakaua Ave. in Waikiki, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016, in Hon
Lihau and Kellen Paik, who together form the band Kupaoa, perform during the 2016 Aloha Festivals in Honolulu.
(Eugene Tanner Photography)
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-- Waikiki Hoolaulea, 7 to 10 p.m. Sept. 22. Close to many of the big resorts, Waikiki’s Kalakaua Avenue is transformed into a giant block party for the evening. Music is performed on four stages, and people can wander from booth to booth to learn more about Hawaiian crafts and culture. Food stalls, including Mahaloha Burger, StripSteak Waikiki and Waimanalo Country Farms, are popular too.

ALOHA FESTIVAL FLORAL PARADE KKN 20160924
The royal court rides on a float in the Aloha Festival’s Floral Parade from Ala Moana Beach Park to Kapiolani Park.
(Eugene Tanner Photography)

-- Floral Parade, 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 29. In its 72nd year, the parade glides along a 3.5-mile route from Ala Moana Park to Kapiolani Park, through the heart of Waikiki, full of color, fragrance and tradition. Floats covered in flowers make their way through the streets, along with men and women on horseback representing various islands of Hawaii. The parade also provides a chance for viewers to see the Aloha Festivals Royal Court, crowned during a Sept. 1 ceremony. The procession will reflect the festivals’ 2018 theme: “We Are of the Sea.”

Info: Aloha Festivals, (808) 923-2030

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