Halloween on Sunday means a three-day celebration in Hawaii. Many people began celebrating on Friday night, with costume parties, charity fundraisers and organized events for children and adults. Some schools recognized Halloween with children allowed to wear costumes on Friday, others did not.
For adults, Friday was the regular monthly ART after DARK at the Honolulu Academy of Arts, but it had a Halloween theme: Seven Deadly Sins. The event regularly attracts crowds of art lovers for programs that feature music and food along with art displays. The Halloween edition included body painting, fortune telling and a costume contest. Friday was also the kick-off concert for the third annual Hallowbaloo Music and Arts Festival at Aloha Tower. The Festival continued through the weekend, with a huge street festival and club crawl in Chinatown on Saturday. I went to the first event and can tell you it is something to behold, but not exactly family fare. Sunday evening’s events are in Waikiki, with a costume stroll down Kalakaua Avenue after the sun goes down.
Many towns and community organizations had parties or haunted houses on Saturday aimed at children and families. Today on a walk around Kailua, I noticed that most stores are closing at 5 pm to allow employees to enjoy Halloween with their families. As much as Hawaii enjoys festivals and parades, I’m surprised there isn’t a Halloween parade — or maybe I just haven’t found it yet.
Some things are the same in Hawaii as on the mainland. The Halloween merchandise is pretty much the same; I haven’t noticed a lot of tropical-themed costumes or decorations. Store clerks in the grocery stores are wearing costumes today, and there was a costume contest in my office on Friday. The same sort of snack-sized candy is sold for handing out to trick-or-treaters.
One big difference is the weather, of course. Everyone is free to wear the costume of their choice without worrying about how it looks with a coat, or how to squeeze a sweat suit or long underwear underneath. That would certainly have been easier when I was dressing young ones for walking around the neighborhood in search of candy!