On a typical weekday, the Bandstand at Kapiolani Park doesn’t look like much. The circular, pavilion-type structure keeps its shades drawn to the passerbys, who stop to sit on the surrounding stairs or on the benches in front.
Come back on a Sunday round noon, and it’s a totally different scene. Sounds of Old Hawaii echo throughout the park, as the Royal Hawaiian Band brings to life our island history through music. Park-goers should feel especially honored to be treated with these weekly performance, as the band is the only municipal band in the U.S. today.
Back to the Bandstand, though; the city built the Victorian-style structure in the 1890s as a place for entertainment and fun. Not many people know that there’s also an underground dressing room and storage area below the Bandstand. Surrounding the structure are a peaceful pond filled with lily pads and little duck families.
In addition to performances by the city-sponsored band, the annual Ukulele Fest happens here, as well as celebrations for Lei Day and other cultural events. But perhaps the Bandstand’s biggest role in the community is to serve as a reminder of how the past lives on in the present day.
KAPIOLANI PARK • 2805 Monsarrat Ave., Honolulu, HI 966815