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It’s Honolulu Festival weekend! Win tickets from HAWAII Magazine to its food-filled Friendship Gala!

honolulu_festival_this_weekend_tickets_Hawaii_MagazineOn Oahu this weekend?

If so, you’re in luck!

Experience the music, art, dance, food and culture of Hawaii and its Pacific Rim neighbors at the 17th annual Honolulu Festival. It’s one of the state’s largest multicultural events, and it’s happening this weekend at multiple venues in and around Waikīkī.

From movie screenings to mikoshi (decorative Japanese floats), the Honolulu Festival always has something for everyone. And for a second consecutive year, HAWAII Magazine is giving away a pair of tickets to the festival's signature food event, the Friendship Gala, featuring cuisine from Oahu's top chefs.

The three-day Honolulu Festival happens every March. This year’s fest again promises thousands of musicians, dancers and artists from Japan, Australia, Tahiti, the Philippines, Taiwan, Korea, Alaska and, of course, Hawai‘i. Think of it as a glimpse into the diversity and cultures of the Asia and Pacific regions — all within a three-mile radius in or near Waikiki, with much of it free and open to the public.

honolulu_festival_this_weekend_tickets_Hawaii_MagazineThe Honolulu Festival weekend events schedule kicks off Fri., March 11, with music and dance performances at the Hawaii Convention Center. Live performances—everything from hula and Japanese dance to Chinese kempo and Okinawan taiko drumming—continues on Sat., March 12, through Sunday, March 13, at the fest’s four venues: the Hawai‘i Convention Center, Ala Moana Center's Center Stage, Waikīkī Beach Walk and the Waikīkī Shopping Plaza. The Honolulu Festival’s Craft Fair will be open at the Hawai‘i Convention Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.

The festival culminates Sunday evening with its marquee event: the Honolulu Festival Grand Parade. The annual march down Waikiki’s main drag Kalakaua Avenue features floats, entertainment and the popular Daijayama—a 33-foot-long smoke-and-fire breathing dragon from Kyushu, Japan, manipulated by more than 200 handlers.

honolulu_festival_this_weekend_tickets_Hawaii_MagazineAnd for the first time, the parade will end with a bang, literally, with Japan’s internationally renowned Nagaoka Fireworks display lighting up the skies over Waikīkī Beach. It'll be a rare opportunity to see this fireworks display outside of Japan.

The only Honolulu Festival event that isn’t free is the annual Friendship Gala, set for 7 to 9 p.m., Saturday evening at the Hawai‘i Convention Center. Think an evening of great food from a handful of Oahu’s top restaurants—including Morimoto Waikīkī, Mariposa at Neiman Marcus, Roy’s Hawai‘i Kai, 3660 on the Rise, Nobu Waikiki, Shokudo Japanese Restaurant and La Palme D'or Patisserie, among others—and you get the picture. The $85 ticket price supports the Honolulu Festival Foundation’s school-based cultural and educational programs.

Before buying gala tickets, however, you might want to consider winning a couple of Friendship Gala tickets from HAWAII Magazine—for free.

HAWAII Magazine and the Honolulu Festival Foundation are again giving away a free pair of Friendship Gala tickets to one lucky HawaiiMagazine.com Facebook and Twitter follower. There are two ways to enter and win:

• Go to HAWAII Magazine’s Facebook page, click on the “like” button to become a member of our Facebook ohana, and enter the words “I want to go to the Honolulu Festival Friendship Gala w/ HAWAII Magazine!” in the comment box for this story. (You'll find the story at or near the top of our Facebook fan page.)

OR ...

• On HAWAII Magazine’s Twitter page, tweet the words "I want to go to the @HonFestival Friendship Gala w/ @HawaiiMagazine!" and the hashtag #HawaiiMagazine2011Gala.

honolulu_festival_this_weekend_tickets_Hawaii_MagazineWe’ll pick one winner at random from all entries submitted to our Facebook and Twitter pages. All entries must be submitted by 3 p.m. (Hawaii time) on Fri., March 11, 2011. We’ll pick a winner immediately after the contest closes and notify them via their means of contest entry. The winner will have a half-hour to reply back to us after being initially notified of their win before we award the gala tickets to another entrant, so please check your Facebook and Twitter accounts immediately after the contest closes to find out if you’ve won.

The contest is open to all Hawaii visitors and residents who will be on Oahu on March 12, and able to attend the Friendship Gala. Please do not enter if you will not be on Oahu on March 12! The winner’s tickets will be available for pick-up under the winner’s name at the Friendship Gala’s will-call table on March 12.

Good luck to everyone entering!

For more information on the festival and its full weekend event schedule, visit the Honolulu Festival website.
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