This year, the Honolulu Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary of promoting cultural and ethnic ties between Hawaii and Asia Pacific countries with a weekend of live performances, exhibits, a parade and the festival’s biggest fireworks show ever.
The festival, which takes place March 8-9 at the Hawaii Convention Center, Waikiki Beach Walk and Ala Moana Center, is free and open to the public.
On Tuesday, organizers celebrated a kick-off preview in Waikiki, which included a performance by Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble and the announcement of this year’s theme, “Jubilation, One Heart, One Pacific, One World.”
“I think (the theme) really captures the essence of the festival in bringing the people of the various cultures together and promoting cultural understanding amongst everyone,” said Lenny Yajima Andrew, Honolulu Festival spokesperson.
Highlights include the Friendship Gala at the Hawaii Convention Center on Saturday, featuring cultural entertainment by Honolulu Festival performers and cuisine from some of Oahu’s top restaurants. Proceeds support educational and cultural programs in Hawaii. On Sunday, ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro holds a benefit concert for Japanese children affected by an earthquake in 2011.
The festival concludes Sunday evening with two highly anticipated events: the Grand Parade, which starts at 4:30 p.m. along Kalakaua Ave., and the Nagaoka Fireworks Show, which starts at 8:30 p.m.
In honor of the festival’s 20th anniversary, organizers are promising the biggest and brightest pyrotechnic display yet with fireworks being shot from four barges off Waikiki Beach.
“The fireworks show is going to be about 20 minutes (long) and it’s going to be spectacular,” Andrew said.
Click here for more information and a full schedule of events.