The Honolulu Festival is set to showcase a weekend of Pacific Rim cultural performances,exhibits, craft fairs, workshops, movie screenings, and more for the enjoyment of residents and visitors the weekend of March 11 – 13.
Celebrating its 22nd year of bridging the cultures and people between the Pacific Rim and Hawaii, the Honolulu Festival cultural performances will be held at three convenient locations: Hawaii Convention Center, Waikiki Beach Walk, and Ala Moana Center. The Hawaii Convention Center will be the host site for the food providers, craft fairs, workshops, and movie screenings. Best of all, everyone can experience all this and more for FREE.
The Honolulu Festival will conclude Sunday evening (March 13) with two highly anticipated events. First, the always-popular Waikiki Grand Parade begins at 4:30 p.m. on Kalakaua Avenue featuring performers, floats, and groups from Pacific Rim countries and Hawaii. Following the parade, the magnificent Nagaoka Fireworks Show will light up the night skies over Waikiki, starting at 8:30 p.m.
Under the banner "Pacific Harmony," the Honolulu Festival is committed to perpetuating the strong cultural ties between the Pacific Rim and Hawaii, as depicted in this year's theme, "Cultural Harmony, Journey to Peace." Tsukasa Harufuku, president of the Honolulu Festival Foundation, said, "As we gather in Hawaii for a special weekend of cultural learning and entertainment, we are thrilled to be celebrating 22 years of international partnerships and cooperation. This year, we are excited to welcome to the Festival our first group from Europe to join nearly 140 talented performers and entertainers from various Pacific Rim countries."
- Educational School Tours
Friday, March 11, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (by invitation only), Hawaii Convention Center.
Hawaii elementary to high school students will take part in a "Cultural Field Trip," getting the opportunity to interact with visiting performers and artisans. Students will get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at many of the Festival exhibits and activities, including taiko drumming, caligraphy, and storytelling.
- Friendship Gala
Friday, March 11, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m., Hawaii Convention Center
The Friendship Gala will feature exciting cultural entertainment by Raiatea Helm, Kupaoa, and visitng cultural performers, along with delicious cuisine from Oahu's premier restaurants. Funds raised by the Friendship Gala supports the Honolulu Festival Foundation's educational and cultural programs in Hawaii. Tickets: $90/person, ($70/person under 21; free for age 6 and under). Available at www.honolulufestival.com.
HONOLULU FESTIVAL CO-SPONSORED EVENTS
- Aloha DANCE Convention
Saturday, March 12, 6:15 – 8:30 p.m., Hawaii Convention Center
Don't miss Hawaii's biggest dance competition showdown! The Aloha DANCE CONVENTION showcases up to 20 talented dance teams from around the world. The opening act will feature performances by professional dancers and unique routines from Japan. Admission is free to the public.
- Honolulu Rainbow EKIDEN
Sunday, March 13, 9:00 a.m.
Honolulu Rainbow EKIDEN relay race will feature teams of 3-5 runners taking turns running along a scenic five kilometer route in Kapiolani Park and Diamond Head until five legs of the relay are complete. EKIDEN longdistance relay racing has been a tradition of Japan for more than 90 years. The Honolulu Rainbow EKIDEN is sponsored by JTB and co-sponsored by the Honolulu Festival Foundation. Following the Honolulu Rainbow EKIDEN, the WaikiKitchen ~Taste of Local~ will be hosted in Kapiolani Park from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. The food festival features a wide variety of local favorites including plate lunch vendors, local style food trucks, and treats from some of Hawaii's gourmet restaurants.
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