Hawaii is truly different from any other tropical island that you could vacation on. Set in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, one of the things that I love most about living in Hawaii is the diverse cultures that you find here. From the food to the festivals to the customs, I have learned so much just by living here.

I also love that Hawaii celebrates these cultures with many events throughout the year. Floating Lantern Hawaii, which just occurred on Memorial Day, is one of my favorites. If you are in Hawaii during one of these festivals, they are worth going to, because they teach you so much and because they are so much fun.

One of Hawaii’s largest festivals, the Pan-Pacific Festival, will celebrate its 38th year with a three-day festival in Hawaii from June 9-11. It is one of the largest outdoor multi-cultural exhibits of its kind in Hawaii.

Held right on Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki, the Pan-Pacific Festival kicks off on Friday morning with a Performing Arts Showcase and ends on Sunday evening with the Pan-Pacific Parade and the
17th Annual Pan-Pacific Hula Festival.

The goal of the Pan Pacific Festival is to foster intercultural friendship, goodwill, and understanding by bringing together various cultures and people through the sharing of music, arts, dance, performances, food, and more.

Nearly 100 different performance groups and organizations from around the world and Hawaii will be at this festival. It is estimated that 100,000 will attend — 50 percent of whom are visitors from abroad.

The History of the Pan-Pacific Festival

Matsuri in Hawaii began in 1980. A group of people envisioned an event that would continue to increase interaction between Japan and Hawaii. The festival’s mission was to enrich the lives of both participating artists and audiences with exposure to traditional Japanese culture – music, dance, food, crafts and more. In its first year, Matsuri (Japanese for “festival”) in Hawaii attracted about 25,000 attendees.

In 1996, Matsuri in Hawai‘i became the Pan-Pacific Festival to broaden its scope and appeal by including performers representing other Pacific-Rim cultures/countries, including Hawaii.

The word Ho‘olaule‘a in Hawaiian means ‘festival; gathering for a celebration; to preserve friendship and good will.’

The Pan-Pacific Ho‘olaule‘a is a celebration; a diverse gathering of people, cultural exhibitions, and talent from across the Pacific Rim.

This year’s festival

All events are free and open to the public.

Pan-Pacific Ho‘olaule‘a

Kicking off the weekend of events with a festive block party in Waikiki, the Pan-Pacific Ho‘olaule‘a features multiple stages along Kalakaua Avenue filled with cultural performances; live entertainment by local and international groups; a wide range of Island crafters and vendors selling unique items; and food booths offering delicious culinary creations.

2nd Annual Street Dance Festival in Hawaii

This dance exhibition will showcase dance moves from some of Japan and Hawaii’s hottest amateur dance troupes. Making a special appearance is Kento Mori, one of the most successful choreographers and professional dancers in the world, who will provide the performers with top dance tips.

Punahele Party

Hula halau will choose their favorite songs to dance with one of Hawaii’s treasured musicians, Na Hoku Hanohano award winner Weldon Kekauoha.

Pan-Pacific Hula Festival

The 17th Annual Pan-Pacific Hula Festival is held every evening throughout the festival at the revered Kuhio Beach Hula Mound, featuring hula halau (schools) from Japan as well as performances by local hula halau.

Performing Arts Showcase

Held daily throughout the festival weekend, the Performing Arts Showcase features traditional Japanese songs and dances, hula performances and other cultural presentations from more than 25 international and Hawaii groups.

Pan-Pacific Parade

The weekend-long festivities culminate with the Pan-Pacific Parade on Kalakaua Avenue, which starts at Fort DeRussy and ends at Kapi‘olani Park. The parade features a mix of cultural performers, colorful entertainers, and music and dance groups from around the world, marching through Waikiki at sunset.

Schedule

Friday, June 9

10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Performing Arts Showcase
Ala Moana Center, Centerstage

1 – 5 p.m.
Performing Arts Showcase
Waikiki Beach Walk Plaza Stage

4 – 10 p.m.
17th Annual Pan-Pacific Hula Festival
Kuhio Beach, Hula Mound

7 – 10 p.m.
Pan-Pacific Ho‘olaule‘a
Kalakaua Ave.
Seaside Ave. to Uluniu Ave.

6:30 – 9 p.m.
Street Dance Festival in Hawaii
Waikiki Beach Walk Plaza Stage

Saturday, June 10

10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Performing Arts Showcase
Ala Moana Center, Centerstage

1 – 4:30 p.m.
Performing Arts Showcase
Waikiki Beach Walk Plaza Stage

4 – 6:30 p.m.
7:30 – 10 p.m.
17th Annual Pan-Pacific Hula Festival
Kūhiō Beach, Hula Mound

6:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Punahele Party
Waikiki Beach Walk Plaza Stage

Sunday, June 11

10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Performing Arts Showcase
Ala Moana Center, Centerstage

12 – 3 p.m.
Performing Arts Showcase
International Market Place

1 – 4:30 p.m.
Performing Arts Showcase
Waikiki Beach Walk Plaza Stage

5 – 7 p.m.

Pan-Pacific Parade
Kalākaua Avenue
Fort DeRussy to Kapi‘olani Park

7 – 10 p.m.
17th Annual Pan-Pacific Hula Festival
Kūhiō Beach, Hula Mound

If you want to learn more about the many cultures that can be found in Hawaii, this event is a must-do. More information about the Pan-Pacific Festival can be found here.

Our travel agents at Hawaii Aloha Travel have deep ties to the community and would be happy to talk to you about cultural happenings in Hawaii. Give us a call and will let you know about events you might want to attend while you are here on vacation.


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