23rd annual Honolulu Festival celebrates Pacific Rim cultures


Thousands from across the Pacific will gather on Oahu this weekend for the 23rd annual Honolulu Festival.

The event takes place March 11-13 and features Pacific Rim cultural performances, exhibits, craft fairs, workshops, movie screenings, and more at three locations: the Hawaii Convention Center, Waikiki Beach Walk, and Ala Moana Center.

Under the banner of “Pacific Harmony” and the theme of “Cultural Harmony, Journey to Peace,” the festival’s goal is to help perpetuate the strong cultural and ethnic ties between the people of Asia-Pacific and Hawaii. Most events are free and open to the public.

The festival concludes Sunday with a grand parade down Kalakaua Avenue and signature Nagaoka fireworks show over Waikiki Beach.

Crews were busy Friday preparing for Sunday’s show, which will last for about 20 minutes.

“This is the biggest fireworks show in Honolulu. We’re shooting from three boats and, as you can see, these boats are filled with as much fireworks as we can possibly fit on them,” said Tom Likos, Fireworks by Grucci.

The fireworks show begins at 8:30 p.m.

Festival Highlights

SATURDAY, MARCH 11
Craft Fair / Ennichi Corner / Carnival Corner / Food Corner
10 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. at the Hawaii Convention Center
More than a hundred vendors exhibiting from around the world, including Hawaii and Japan. The Ennichi and Carnival corners will feature fun games hands-on activities for keiki.

Stage Performances
10 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the Hawaii Convention Center, Ala Moana Center, Waikiki Beach Walk
Live music, dance and cultural demonstrations from Pacific Rim countries.

Movie Showings
10 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the Hawaii Convention Center, Third Floor (#311)

10 a.m. “Climbing to Spring”
12:15 p.m. “Komaneko – The Curious Cat”
1:30 p.m. “Komaneko’s Christmas – A Lost Present”
2 p.m. “Farewell to Jinu”
2:20 p.m. “The Calling”

A Story of SUGIHARA CHIUNE (Speech and Movie)
Noon – 3:30 p.m. at the Hawaii Convention Center, Third Floor (#310)
Speech: “Visas of Life” by Akira Kitade
Movie: “Persona Non Grata”
A new film about a Japanese diplomat who, during World War II, helped save over 6,000 Jewish refugees from the Nazis. The movie premiered in U.S.theaters earlier this year.

Bon Dance
1:10 – 1:45 p.m., 3:10 – 3:45 p.m. at the Hawaii Convention Center

Honolulu Rainbow Ekiden kick-off night and aloha dance competition
4:30 – 9 p.m. at the Hawaii Convention Center
Talented dance teams from around the world are featured.

SUNDAY, MARCH 12
Honolulu Rainbow Ekiden relay race
9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Kapiolani Park
Teams of 3-5 runners taking turns running along a scenic five-kilometer route in Kapiolani Park and Diamond Head until five legs of the relay are complete. Ekiden long-distance relay racing has been a tradition of Japan for more than 90 years.

WaikiKitchen
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Kapiolani Park
The food festival features a wide variety of local favorites including plate lunch vendors, local style food trucks, and treats from some of Hawaii’s gourmet restaurants.

Craft Fair / Ennichi Corner / Carnaval Corner / Food Corner
10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Hawaii Convention Center

Stage Performances
10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Hawaii Convention Center, Ala Moana Center, Waikiki Beach Walk
Live music, dance and cultural demonstrations from Pacific Rim countries.

Movie Showings
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Hawaii Convention Center, Third Floor (#311)

10 a.m. “Wood Job!”
12:15 p.m. “Ecotherapy”
2 p.m. “The Book Peddler”

A Story of SUGIHARA CHIUNE (Speech and Movie)
Noon – 3:30 p.m. at the Hawaii Convention Center, Third Floor (#310)

Bon Dance
1:55 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. at the Hawaii Convention Center

Grand Parade
4 p.m. – 8 p.m. down Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki
Festival groups and performers from Asia-Pacific and Hawaii will dance, sing and stage cultural demonstrations. The parade will also feature marching bands and floats, highlighted by the fire-breathing dragon Daijayama.

Nagaoka Fireworks Show
8:30 p.m. over Waikiki Beach
The fireworks will be shot from barges positioned off the midpoint of Waikiki Beach between the Royal Hawaiian Hotel and Sheraton Waikiki. Turn in to Hawaiian 105KINE for music synced with the show.

For more information about the Honolulu Festival, click here.

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