34th Annual Pan-Pacific Festival kicks off Friday

Pan-Pacific Festival

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Taiko drumming is just one of the many things you can expect at the 34th Annual Pan-Pacific Festival.

“Our club is headquartered in Okinawa, but we have chapters all over the world. And here in Hawaii we have chapters here on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island,” said Melissa Chang of RMD Hawaii.

Anyone planning to attend the opening party Friday night may want to plan ahead.

“Probably the most jarring will be this evening, Friday, because of the fact that we’re doing the block party, the Hoolaulea, the Hoolaulea block party. The road closure starts at 5:30 p.m. So we suggest people park in and around this area. Maybe if you want to catch the bus in, or taxi, or trolley in is the best,” Pan-Pacific Festival Advisory Committee Member Pali Kaaihue said.

Groups, performers, dancers from around the Pacific rim will enjoy three days of celebration with the huge block party taking place in the heart of Waikiki Friday night.

“Well, there is going to be five stages of entertainment from taiko drums, which we’ve seen earlier, hula dancing. We have a Na Hoku Hanohano stage,” Kaaihue said.

The performers come in all sizes, some as young as 5 years old.

“It’s always exciting for us to perform with performers all around, especially around the Pacific so that we can see all different types of cultures. We perform Okinawan taiko, but it’s also exciting to see Japanese taiko, Hula, and dances from other areas. So, it’s always a great experience,” Ching said.

The annual festival is getting better with age.

“You know Hawaii is a melting pot, and we really want it to be this celebration and it’s of course spanning a number of days. And you’re going to see all these different things, different cultures, and wonderful history,” Kaaihue said.

The festivities end with a huge parade through Waikiki on Sunday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

For more information, visit this website.

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