Aloha Festivals’ 69th annual Waikiki Hoolaulea showcases Hawaiian food, culture

The big block party is a celebration of Hawaiian culture and food
Published: Sep. 23, 2023 at 2:48 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Crowds are expected to fill Kalakaua Avenue tonight for the Aloha Festivals’ 69th annual Waikiki Hoolaulea from 6-9:30 p.m.

Aloha Festivals, first held in 1946, commemorates seven decades of Hawaiian celebrations through music, dance and traditions. Award winning artists Kapena, Ei Nei, Hookena, Halau Mohala llima and others will be performing.

The family friendly block party will feature more than 50 different booths with Hawaiian cuisine, local vendors and crafts. Many are from local farms or restaurants such as Waimanalo Country Farms, Olay’s Thai Express and more.

Alex Pelen, chef of A&G Bar and Grill in Waianae, joined HNN’s Sunrise Weekends to showcase his butter garlic shrimp and kalbi short ribs.

Pelen said he’s been participating at the Hoolaulea for about five years and finds inspiration from his mother’s Filipino food.

Monte McComber, cultural director for the Royal Hawaiian Center and Aloha Festivals board member, said the event helps bring the local community together to experience hula and food and support local businesses.

“The festival is the longest running cultural festival in Hawaii, started in 1946, and we’re celebrating our aloha spirit, the beauty of our lands and of course multiculturalism,”McComber said.

This year, Aloha Festival sponsors include Hawaii Tourism Authority and Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort.

The floral parade will be on September 30th from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. from Ala Moana Park to Kapiolani Park.

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