Hawaii’s Summer Festival Season Begins

Hawaii’s festival season has kicked off with the recent Memorial Day Shinnyo Lantern Floating Festival at Ala Moana Beach Park. Each year the festival attracts an estimated 50,000 residents and visitors to celebrate memories of those who have passed as thousands of lanterns float solemnly into the night.

Of course, Hawaii is the perfect place for summer festivals. Our sunny skies and warm weather beckon folks into the outdoors for food and entertainment. Food festivals and cultural celebrations abound in paradise when the days grow long and florid sunsets linger on the horizon as dusk falls.

Outdoor festivals of all kinds are held year-round in Hawaii, but summertime sees the largest concentration of Hawaii’s favorite events. Many of these events are free to the public. Some have an admission fee.

Courtesy hawaii.gov

The Pan Pacific Festival (it’s free) begins with the Pan Pacific Ho’olaulea street festival on Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki on Friday, June 7 and continues through Sunday, June 9. Performance art showcases will be held at the Waikiki Beach Walk Plaza and the International Marketplace.

Friday also marks the start of the 19th Annual Pan Pacific Hula Festival. It hosts multiple stages including Ala Moana’s Centerstage. It features hula halau from Hawaii and Japan. With concerts and street parties throughout the weekend and a parade down Kalakaua on Sunday, the Pan Pacific Festival offers Waikiki visitors the full spectrum of Hawaii’s many communities and cuisines.

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Oahu is home to lots of other festivals over the summer months. They give visitors a chance to experience the myriad cultures that call the island known as “The Gathering Place” home. The Sailor Jerry Festival honors the world’s most celebrated tattoo artist/World War II veteran. Tattoo expos, food and live entertainment at 19 venues throughout Honolulu on the weekend of Saturday, June 15 will highlight the festival.

Summer is also mango season in Hawaii, and festivals on Oahu and the Big Island are certain to draw thousands. The Mango Jam Honolulu takes place on the Frank F. Fasi Civic Grounds on Friday-Saturday, June 21-22. In Kona on June 23 the 11th Annual Mango Festival promises flavors and entertainment to be found nowhere else.

On Maui, The Kapalua Wine and Food Festival brings together oenophiles (wine-nerds), gourmet chefs, and top-billed entertainers to the gleaming waters and sands at the Kapalua Resort in fabled West Maui beginning Friday, June 7. The Maui Film Festival Official Launch Party at the Waldorf-Astoria Grand Wailea Resort goes under the lights on Wednesday, June 12. The world-famous and celebrity-magnet festival celebrates its 20th year.

Spam musubi! Photo courtesy SJ Foundation

The Garden Isle hosts the first-ever Kauai Comic Convention on Saturday, June 8 at the Kauai Marriott Resort in Lihue. It’ll give attendees an opportunity for talks and autographs and selfies with pop culture icons and worldwide experts and enthusiasts in all things imagined and animated. The Koloa Plantation Days Festival runs from June 19-28, an homage to the hard-working days of Hawaii’s plantation days gone by.

King Kamehameha Day celebrations are a highlight of the month of June on all the Hawaiian Islands. Hula and music, food and arts and crafts, and the bright smiles of the young and old will unite the Islands of Aloha to celebrate King Kamehameha the Great from Hilo to Hanalei. The holiday is on Tuesday, June 11. Most celebrations will be held over the weekend before.

There are many more festivals and celebrations in Hawaii during the warm summer months. Contact us here at Hawaii Aloha Travel to plan your Hawaii vacation festival experience!