Hoolaulea Kicks Off Kamehameha Day Weekend

Norma & Robert Yara
Norma & Robert Yara

WAIKIKI (KHNL) - The 28th annual Pan Pacific Festival is underway. The weekend begins with a hoolaulea in Waikiki.

The huge block party started at 7pm Friday night in front of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Organizers closed Kalakaua Avenue and vendors set up food booths. They also built five stages for all the entertainers.

This was a hoolaulea that you cannot miss. It is one of the largest outdoor multi-cultural exhibits of its kind in the state.

Entertainers included taiko drummers, Korean dancers, traditional Japanese performances, and the hula. Last year, more than 40 thousand people came down to enjoy the party.

A group of cheerleaders from Japan performed a lively dance number. But the crowd was mesmerized by the traditional Japanese dancers with classic moves and beautiful music.

These performers were the crowd pleasers.

Festival goers Robert and Norma Yara attend every year, "Its the food to begin with. The variety is very delicious. What about entertainment? The taiko drumming in the past years featured groups from Japan who put on an unforgettable performance. It's just fantastic."

The taiko drummers perform rhythmic routines. There is no mistaking this festival that celebrates the rich culture of japan and other pacific nations.

In case you missed the hoolaulea there's still events you can enjoy. On Sunday there's a parade down Kalakaua avenue featuring more than 1000 marchers and amazing floats in the spirit of the Japanese "matsuri" which means festival.