Enjoying the Honolulu Festival this March

Taking place every March in Honolulu, the Honolulu Festival is set to take place this year from March 6th through the 8th. Offering a variety of activities, festivities and events, the free festival promotes culture and ethnic awareness while providing entertaining and fun for the entire family.

Honolulu Festival Basics

Considered to be Hawaii’s premier cultural event, the Honolulu Festival promotes a mutual understanding and economic corporation between the people of Hawaii and the Pacific Rim region.  Attended by thousands of people each year, the festival showcases the regions blend of Pacific, Asian and Hawaiian cultures. As such, performers from various countries and regions showcase their talents at the festival. These include those from Japan, the Philippines, Tahiti, South Korea, Taiwan and Australia. Events take place near to the city center, making it easy for residents and visitors to attend and to enjoy all that the festival has to offer. 

Performances and Crafts

Performances for the Honolulu Festival take place at three different locations. These include:

  • Ala Moana Shopping Center
  • Hawaii Convention Center
  • Waikiki Beach Walk

A full schedule of events for the 2020 festival can be found on the Honolulu Festival  website. 

In addition to enjoying the performances, festival participants can also enjoy the Craft Fair, which features more than 100 booths from Hawaii, Japan and other Pacific countries. The Craft Fair offers a great opportunity to learn more about the various represented cultures and to purchase unique gifts and souvenirs. 

Educational Programs

As part of its mission to educate others about culture, the Honolulu Festival also offers educational programming. To accomplish this mission, the festival offers to primary educational programs: educational school tours and the Maui Mikoshi Contest.

As part of the educational school tours, students have the opportunity to explore behind-the-scenes of the festival as they get up-close-and-personal to festival exhibits and interact with performers and artists. Meanwhile, the Maui Mikoshi Contest invites high school students to design Japanese “Mikoshi,” which is a decorative portable shrine. The winners of the contest get to visit Honolulu during the festival and march in the Grand Parade with the Mikoshi they designed. The overall winning Mikoshi is also displayed at the Hawaii Convention Center throughout the festival time. 

Concluding the Festival

The Honolulu Festival concludes with a fireworks display and a parade.  The Grand Parade begins at Saratoga Road and follows along Kalakaua Avenue. The parade features special guests and performers, such as Miss Hawaii, school marching bands, the Cherry Blossom and Narcissus Queens, hula dancers and various dance troupes from the region. 

Meanwhile, the Nagaoka Fireworks are set off to bloom over Waikiki Beach as a message for world peace. Though the fireworks have been a part of the festival for on the past seven years, the Nagaoka City fireworks took place for 59 years in the city before being cancelled in 1938 due to World War II. The fireworks display returned 9 years later in an effort to cheer up residents following an 1945 bombing that devastated the city. The display was ultimately moved and made a part of the annual Honolulu Festival. 

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