A lot of people make Hawaii’s Aloha Festivals the main reason for vacationing in the islands. It’s Hawaii’s proudest cultural showcase, a celebration of music, dance and history intended to preserve the unique island traditions. If you’re going to be in Hawaii in mid-September, it’ll be hard to miss the Festivals.
What is known today as Aloha Festivals was born in 1946 as “Aloha Week,” a cultural celebration of Hawaii’s music, dance and history, intended to preserve the unique traditions of Hawaii. It took a year to plan the first Aloha Festivals, and in the fall of 1947 the festivities began. Since then, the celebration has expanded to include more than 300 events on six Hawaiian islands over a two-month period. In 1991 the name of the celebration was changed to Aloha Festivals. This year’s theme is Hula — “The Art of Hawaiian Dance,” so you can be sure to see even more of that beautiful dance than usual while you’re here.
The Festivals now encompass all the cultures of the people of Hawaii, and some 30,000 volunteers participate in the staging of the events, which are attended by nearly a million people.
If you’re going to be in Hawaii, you’ll want to get a ribbon. It’ll enter you into a sweepstakes for great prizes including round-trip air travel to Manila, Las Vegas and the South Pacific. Beyond that, it’ll get you discounts at a bunch of events and local merchants, and sales help to fund the whole operation. It’s just five bucks, and even locals sport ribbons during the time the festivals are taking place.
Highlights worth planning for include the Waikiki Hoolaulea, Friday night, September 12, a huge block party that features the arrival of the Royal Court; and the Floral Parade on Saturday morning, an equestrian procession of female and male pau riders, extravagant floats loaded with flowers, and marching bands;
There will be something happening everywhere, constantly. Any Hawaii-Aloha agent can bring you up to date as the schedule fills out.