Now in its 34th year, Pan-Pacific Festival is among Hawaii’s largest-running cultural celebrations. The annual convergence of Pacific Rim cultures features hula, theatrical performances, a beachfront block party (hoolaulea), and wraps up with a lively parade in Waikiki.
Festivities are slated to get under way on Friday (June 7) and wrap up at sunset on Sunday (June 9) at various venues in the Waikiki area. The fest will showcase nearly 100 performance groups from around the globe.
Here’s a listing of events that are free and open to the public.
• Pan-Pacific Hoolaulea. Kicking off the weekend of events is a festive block party in Waikiki, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday. The party features multiple performance stages along Kalakaua Avenue, live entertainment by local and international bands; a wide range of crafters and vendors; and dozens of food booths. For more information, click here.
• Pan-Pacific Hula Festival. Now in its 13th year, the hula fest will be held throughout the weekend, based at Waikiki’s Kuhio Beach. It will feature more than 35 hula halau (dance groups) from Japan. For more information, click here.
• Performing Arts Showcase. Held daily during the fest, the Performing Arts Showcase features traditional Japanese songs and dances, hula performances and other cultural presentations from more than 25 groups from Japan and Hawaii. For additional information, click here.
• Pan-Pacific Parade. The annual sunset parade along Waikiki’s Kalakaua Avenue features a mix of cultural performers and colorful entertainers as well as music and dance groups. Also among the parade highlights: “Noto Kiriko,” a huge Shinto-style hanging lantern (pictured, above), which, according to tradition, is used to guard nighttime parades in Japan. The parade will start at 5 p.m. at Fort DeRussy and end at Kapiolani Park.
Organizers say the fest attracts an audience of about 100,00, half of which are visitors from abroad. For additional information about the Pan-Pacific Festival, click here.
Photos: Pan-Pacific Festival