After 52 years, Ukulele Festival Hawaii will be closing the curtain

Roy Sakuma, founder of Ukulele Festival Hawaii, says this year's event will be his last one.
Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 12:05 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 12, 2022 at 12:09 PM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After 52 years, this year’s Ukulele Festival Hawaii will be the last one.

Roy Sakuma, longtime ukulele instructor and founder of the beloved tradition held in Kapiolani Park, confirmed the news during a Hawaii News Now Sunrise interview Tuesday.

Sakuma, who founded the festival with his wife Kathy, says his initial goals in starting it are complete.

“My dream has come true,” Sakuma said.

“When I started this in 1971, the dream was to have the ukulele recognized as a musical instrument and be played throughout the whole world.”

Not only has the ukulele become synonymous with Hawaii, its acoustics are heard in dozens of internationally popular songs.

This year’s lineup features legends such as Ohta San, Danny Kaleikini and Natalie Ai Kamauu.

While Sakuma may be closing the curtain on his festival, he said others can now start their own ukulele festivals — and he is happy to mentor.

The very last Ukulele Festival will be held July 17.

For more on the Ukulele Festival, click here.

Copyright 2022 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.