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The Islands of Hawaii

Stryker Weiner & Yokota Public Relations, Inc.
Sonja Swenson
Senior Vice President
(808) 523-8802

For Immediate Release

January 01, 2013


OAHU – Discover the island’s rich culture and diversity at one of the many festivals and events occurring throughout the year. Oahu’s festivals and events provide visitors and locals with an opportunity to embrace the island’s multi-cultural heritage, deep traditions and customs that are special to Oahu. Whether it is a cultural festival highlighting Hawaii’s diverse people and their origins, an energetic concert series, or a culinary event featuring the island’s top chefs, there is sure to be something for everyone. Below is a listing of notable festivals and events (all are subject to change without notice):

Music, Shopping & Entertainment
March 18-24, 2013
Shop a Le‘a
Ala Moana Center’s annual week-long spring shopping event, Shop a Le‘a, presents locals and visitors with more than 150 experiences in fashion, health and beauty, active lifestyle, home décor, travel, and cuisine. Included as part of the Shop a Le‘a lineup are fashion shows and trunk shows, exclusive products, Centerstage events, gifts-with-purchase, mall-wide shopping and dining offers, and much more.

April 2013; October 2013
Hawaii International Film Festival
The Hawaii International Film Festival is dedicated to the advancement of understanding and cultural exchange among the peoples of Asia, the Pacific and North America through the medium of film. HIFF showcases independent feature films and is held at the Signature Dole Cannery Theatres each spring and fall. Expect the very best and latest in independent and global cinema.
April 26–May 25, 2013
Mele Mei
The Hawaii Academy of Recording Artists will present the third Annual Mele Mei, a month-long celebration of Hawaiian music, in May 2013. Mele Mei will encompass more than 30 workshops, concert performances and other events, and will culminate with the 36th Annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards on May 25.

Mele Mei Highlights:
    April 27        Lifetime Achievement Awards Luncheon
    May 1          Lei of the Stars Dinner Concert
    May 11        O Ka Hula Ke Ola (Hula is Life) Hula Competition
    May 17-19    International Hula Conference
    May 19         Ukulele, Slack and Steel Guitar Jam
    May 24         Na Hoku Hanohano Music Festival workshops
                       Hula I Ke Kai performances
    May 25         36th Annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards Show

May 2013
Rainbow Film Festival
The Rainbow Film Festival serves to educate and raise community awareness about gay and lesbian culture, arts and lifestyle through independent films shown at the Doris Duke Theatre. Locally submitted films are also featured and supported by the festival.

July 4, 2013
Ala Moana Center Fireworks
For the 22nd consecutive year, Ala Moana Center will present locals and visitors with one of the largest and most spectacular fireworks shows in the country. In addition to the fireworks, Ala Moana will offer a weekend’s worth of live entertainment and a mall-wide shopping savings pass.

July 21, 2013
Ukulele Festival Hawaii
Local ukulele legend Roy Sakuma and his sponsors help to keep the instrument alive with the largest festival of its kind in the world, attracting thousands each year. A free five-hour concert showcases the finest ukulele players from around the world, along with national celebrities, Hawaii’s top entertainers, and an ukulele orchestra of more than 800 students, mostly children. The festival benefits Ukulele Festival Hawaii, a charitable non-profit organization.

August 18, 2013
Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival
Slack key guitar originated in Hawaii in the 19th century with Hawaiian paniolo (cowboys), and continues to gain popularity. The Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival, founded in 1982, celebrates the cultural importance of, perpetuates and preserves the unique acoustic guitar art form of “Ki hoalu,” which means “loosen the key.” The festival takes place at Kapiolani Park and features performances by well-known slack key musicians.

Arts & Culture
December 8, 2012–March 2013
Xtreme BUGS at Bishop Museum
Experience Xtreme BUGS at Bishop Museum. This exciting outdoor exhibit offers visitors a larger than life experience focusing on the world of interesting, intriguing and bizarre insects. Bugs such as ladybugs, spiders, butterflies and more come to life through Xtra-large animatronic and static models scattered throughout the Museum grounds. Keiki can also learn about these outdoor creatures through a variety of interactive activities.

January 19, 2013
Moanikeala Hula Festival
The fragrance of fresh flower lei and melodies of ancient Hawaii will fill the air as some of the world’s most gifted hula dancers and halau (schools) come together at the Polynesian Cultural Center for the first hula event of the year.

March 1-3, 2013
Honolulu Festival
The 19th annual Honolulu Festival celebrates cultures from across the Pacific. This three-day celebration of art, music, dance, and crafts is filled with spectacular sights and sounds. The festival culminates with a Grand Parade in Waikiki, followed by the newly added Nagaoka Hanabi fireworks display.

May 1-2, 2013
Lei Day Celebration
On May 1, a celebration that includes entertainment, food booths and a lei-making contest takes place at the beautiful Queen Kapiolani Park and Bandstand in Waikiki. The event is followed by an honoring of Hawaii’s alii at Mauna Ala and Kawaiahao on May 2. Lei Day was created to celebrate the Hawaiian custom of making and wearing lei. This year marks the 86th anniversary of the celebration of Lei Day in Hawaii.

May 8-11, 2013
We Are Samoa Festival
The We Are Samoa Festival at the Polynesian Cultural Center features the 21st Annual World Fireknife Championship and High School Samoan Cultural Arts Festival. Dancers of all ages showcase their mastery of Samoan fireknives in which acrobatic moves and death-defying tricks combine with ancient Samoan culture. Held in conjunction with the World Fireknife Championship, the High School Samoan Cultural Arts Festival is an event in which Hawaii high school students demonstrate their own cultural knowledge of Samoan traditions with exhibitions in basket weaving, coconut husking, fire making, and more.

May 27, 2013
Lantern Floating Hawaii
Every year on Memorial Day, thousands of people gather at Magic Island at Ala Moana Beach Park to honor ancestors and loved ones who have passed away. At sundown, more than 3,000 candlelit lanterns are set afloat on the ocean, a traditional Buddhist rite originating in Japan. The ceremony serves to honor those who have sacrificed their lives in war, pay respect to ancestors and loved ones who have passed away, and pray for a harmonious and peaceful future. The ceremony also features live entertainment by local and international musicians, as well as inspiring speeches.

June 7-9, 2013
Pan-Pacific Festival
The 34th annual Pan-Pacific Festival is a three-day international cultural celebration that features a weekend of Pacific Rim cultural performances, demonstrations, hula, food, hoolaulea (block party).The event culminates with a colorful parade with thousands of participants in lively costumes marching down Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki.

June 9, 2013
97th Annual King Kamehameha Floral Parade
This colorful celebration honors the reign of King Kamehameha, who was responsible for uniting the Hawaiian Islands under his rule in 1795. The parade features brightly decorated floats, energetic marching bands and traditional pau riders who represent a Hawaiian royal court on horseback.

June –August 2013
Obon Dances and Festivals
Buddhist temples throughout the island celebrate the Obon tradition, brought to Hawaii by Japanese immigrants that have evolved into a social and cultural event. Experience this part of Oahu’s rich culture, which is designed to honor ancestors through an evening of dance, music and merrymaking. Dances and festivals are held at temples across the island on various dates throughout the summer.

July 12-13, 2013
Te Mahana Hiroa Tumu O Tahiti
The 14th annual Te Mahana Hiroa Tumu O Tahiti, the largest Tahitian dance competition in Hawaii, returns to the Polynesian Cultural Center. This event will showcase the skill of dancers dedicated to preserving the art, culture and traditions of Tahiti. Attracting visitors and locals alike, this festival features tamarii (youth) and taurearea (adults) from all over Hawaii as they dance to the sounds of Tahiti ranging from slow melodies to rapid beats. 

July 14, 2013
Korean Festival
The Korean Festival is an annual event run by the Hawaii Korean Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with dozens of community organizations and businesses, and hundreds of volunteers. This popular cultural celebration highlights the unique food, dance, art and music of Korea.  In the past, festivities include Korean cooking lessons, a singing competition, and even a kim chee eating contest.

July 19-20, 2013
Hawaii All-Collectors Show
Don’t miss the opportunity to find the perfect gift from Hawaii at the Hawaii All-Collectors Show at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall. This annual collectibles and antiques show and sale features more than 200 booths with one of the largest selections of Hawaiiana under one roof.

July 20, 2013
Prince Lot Hula Festival
This all-day festival, held in the beautiful Moanalua Gardens, features hula halau (troupes) gracing the hula mound for spectators to enjoy. The festival showcases Native Hawaiian culture through crafts, kapa making, lauhala weaving, lomilomi massage, traditional Hawaiian games, and more.

July 20-21, 2013
Haleiwa Arts Festival 16th Annual Summer ArtFest
Experience a broad spectrum of traditional, contemporary and ethnic arts at Haleiwa Beach Park in the historic town of Haleiwa. This event includes visual artists, musicians, singers, dancers, demonstrations, storytelling, student art displays, historical trolley tours and children’s arts and crafts. Browse and purchase unique works by artists of all ages and cultural backgrounds.

August 16-18, 2013
Made in Hawaii Festival
Enjoy this three-day celebration highlighting the unique products of Hawaii. More than 400 
exhibitors offer a wide variety of items made and grown in Hawaii, including art, clothing, food, home furnishings, jewelry, toys, fresh produce, plants, and authentic Hawaiian handicrafts. The festival also includes performances by award-winning entertainers and cooking demonstrations by Hawaii’s top culinary artists.

August 24-25, 2013
Greek Festival
The Greek Festival, held at McCoy Pavilion at Ala Moana Beach Park, celebrates Greek culture with ethnic food, live entertainment, cultural booths, and more. The popular annual festival is sponsored by the Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral.

August 30-31, 2013
Te Manahua: Maori Song and Dance Festival
The Polynesian Cultural Center will host the Te Manahua: Maori Song and Dance Festival on August 30-31. Watch as Maori warriors from Oahu and around the world compete in a powerful song and dance competition with demonstrations of the traditional haka (male posture dance) and poi (dance with implements). This year the festival will stream live on

August 31–September 1, 2013
31st Annual Okinawan Festival
The Hawaii United Okinawa Association presents the largest ethnic festival in the state of Hawaii.  The event kicks off with a mini procession inside Kapiolani Park featuring a taiko drum performance. The three-day festival at Kapiolani Park celebrates Okinawan culture with food, entertainment, arts, crafts, and cultural activities.

September 21 & 28, 2013
Aloha Festivals
This premier showcase celebrates Hawaii’s music, dance and history, and is intended to preserve the islands’ unique traditions. Festivities on Oahu include a Waikiki Ho‘olaule‘a on Sept. 21 and a floral parade on Sept. 28.

October 2013
Hawaii Fishing and Seafood Festival
The annual Hawaii Fishing and Seafood Festival, presented by the Pacific Islands Fisheries Group, celebrates Hawaii’s fishing and seafood industry with fishing  workshops and demonstrations, games and activities, fresh seafood dishes, and more. Events take place at the Honolulu Fishing Village at Pier 38.

Last Friday of every month
Offering a new twist on pau hana (happy hour), the Honolulu Academy of Arts presents an evening that invigorates the senses with a combination of food, art, music, dancing, and drinks. The theme for each event is based on the museum’s current feature exhibition and provides a fun and social way to view art in a festive atmosphere.

February 23, 2013
Hawaii Chocolate Festival
Dole Cannery Shops will host the third annual Hawaii Chocolate Festival. Chocolate lovers can learn the steps that go into making this sweet treat from start to finish. There will be chocolate tastings, guest speakers, chocolate inspired spa lounge, chocolate garden, coco café and tea house, live entertainment, and more. The festival was created to raise awareness about Hawaii’s growing cacao industry and to solidify chocolate as the state’s newest ‘ambassador of aloha.’

April 27, 2013
Waikiki SPAM® Jam
The Waikiki SPAM® Jam is an exciting annual street festival that takes place on Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki. The event celebrates Hawaii’s love of SPAM® and features a variety of Honolulu’s finest restaurants serving up SPAM®-inspired creations. Two entertainment stages provide non-stop entertainment ranging from hula dancers to local musicians, and merchandise vendors sell SPAM®-themed items and Hawaiian crafts. Proceeds from the event benefit the Hawaii Food Bank.

July 13, 2013
Mangoes at the Moana
If you are bananas for mangoes be sure to head to the Moana Surfrider for the fifth Annual Mangoes at the Moana festival. Mango enthusiasts are invited to visit food and activity booths featuring this local favorite. This celebration of all things mango will include recipe contests, cooking demonstrations and a mango cocktail throw down. With over sixty varieties of mango grown in Hawaii, you’ll be sure to find something you like.

September 2013
Rice Festival
September is national rice month and what better way to celebrate than to attend the fourth annual Rice Festival. The celebration features entertainment, cultural performances and cooking demonstrations by local celebrity chefs. The Rice Festival was created to celebrate “the grain that connects us.” This free event will give visitors and locals the chance to see how rice is prepared by the different cultures that make up our island.

September 5-8, 2013
Hawaii Food & Wine Festival
The festival includes culinary-focused events and evening receptions featuring dishes prepared by an all-star lineup of chefs from Hawaii and around the world, using locally sourced ingredients. The Hawaii Food & Wine Festival is co-chaired by chefs Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong and serves to showcase the state’s bounty of produce and proteins and highlight the islands’ return to a sustainable eco-system of agriculture, environment and economy.

Sporting and Fitness Events
January 7-13, 2013
Sony Open in Hawaii
The Sony Open in Hawaii kicks off the PGA Tour by bringing 144 of the world’s best professional golfers to Oahu’s exclusive Waialae Country Club each January. Past participants include notable golfers including 2005 winner, Vijay Singh, 2003 and 2004 winner, Ernie Els, and Hawaii’s own Michelle Wie and Tadd Fujikawa. The six-day event is one of the largest charity events in the state of Hawaii and has raised more than $11 million for local not-for-profits since 1999.

January 27, 2013
NFL Pro Bowl
One week before the Super Bowl, the biggest names and hardest hitters in the National Football League (NFL) travel to Oahu for the NFL Pro Bowl, where all-star professional football players from the AFC and NFC battle for conference bragging rights at Aloha Stadium. Events prior to the game include an autograph session, open practices, clinics, and tailgate party.

February 18, 2013
Great Aloha Run
The Great Aloha Run is an 8.15 mile foot race that starts at Aloha Tower in Honolulu and ends at Aloha Stadium in Halawa. A three-day Sports, Health and Fitness Expo occurs during the weekend of the race and includes an array of exhibition booths offering unique products and services, entertainment, workshops, and more.

February 28–March 3, 2013
Wanderlust Yoga and Music Festival
Enjoy the ultimate mind, body and soul wellness festival on Oahu. The Wanderlust Yoga and Music Festival is a one of a kind gathering of yoga masters, musical performers, top chefs and winemakers along with the world’s leading wellness speakers. Open the mind, refresh the soul and satiate appetites at this event held at the Turtle Bay Hotel and Resort.

May 19, 2013
Honolulu Triathlon
Thousands of triathletes from around the world visit Oahu each May to compete in the Honolulu Triathlon. The Olympic distance triathlon features a 1.5K swim, 40K bike and 10K run that begins and ends at Ala Moana Beach Park.

August 17-25, 2013
Duke’s OceanFest
Duke’s OceanFest, a weeklong festival, features a variety of exciting water sports competitions, including longboard surfing, surf polo, swimming, standup paddling, and other events that pay tribute to the local waterman. The festivities culminate with the Duke’s Statue lei draping ceremony on Aug. 24, the anniversary of his birthday.

September 2, 2013
Waikiki Roughwater Swim
Labor Day marks the 44th annual Waikiki Roughwater Swim where swimmers from all over the world come to tackle the challenging waters of Waikiki. This open water swim measures 2.384 miles long, beginning near the Waikiki Aquarium and ending near the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

September 29, 2013
Honolulu Century Ride
The Honolulu Century Ride is Hawaii’s oldest and largest cycling event, attracting approximately 4,000 people around the world each year. The ride begins and ends at Kapiolani Park, and participants can choose to ride 20, 25, 40, 50, 75, or 100 miles at their own pace. Proceeds from the annual fun ride support the Hawaii Bicycling League and its efforts to promote cycling for health, recreation and transportation through advocacy, education and events.

October 2013
Molokai Hoe
The Molokai Hoe has become one of the longest running annual team sporting events in Hawaii, second only to football. The race starts at Hale o Lono beach on Molokai and goes through the Kaiwi Channel, ending at Duke Kahanamoku Beach in Waikiki. The Molokai Hoe perpetuates one of Hawaii’s and Polynesia’s most important and historic cultural traditions, while honoring outrigger canoe paddlers around the world.

November 12–December 20, 2013
Vans Triple Crown of Surfing
The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing returns to the North Shore of Oahu for the men’s series and women’s Roxy Pro at Sunset Beach. Kicking off with the Reef Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa, the series continues with the Vans World Cup of Surfing and women’s Roxy Pro at Sunset Beach, and lastly the Billabong Pipeline Masters at the famous Banzai Pipeline. Oahu’s North Shore is home to these final events on the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) calendar that will crown surfing’s new world champions.

December 1, 2013–February 28, 2014
Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational In Memory of Eddie Aikau
Each winter, the world’s best big wave surfers are invited to Waimea Bay on Oahu’s North Shore to compete in the Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational In Memory of Eddie Aikau. The Eddie can only be held when surf measures at least 20 feet (Hawaiian scale) for a full day. The holding period for the event is between December 1 and the last day in February. When the surf is big enough, thousands flock to watch the likes of Kelly Slater and Bruce Irons compete in this prestigious surfing competition.

December 2013
XTERRA Trail Run World Championship
The XTERRA Trail Run World Championship is an off-road half-marathon that winds through Kualoa Ranch on Oahu’s northeastern shore. Trail runs, kids race, and other family events will also be offered.

December 8, 2013
Honolulu Marathon
Thousands of runners from around the world travel to Oahu each year to participate in the Honolulu Marathon. The 26.2-mile scenic course includes spectacular views alongside world famous Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head.

December 22, 23 & 25, 2013
Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic
The Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic is an eight-team, 12-game bracket tournament that features some of the nation’s best collegiate men’s basketball teams. The tournament is held at the University of Hawaii’s Stan Sherriff Center.

December 24, 2013
Sheraton Hawaii Bowl
Following the University of Hawaii’s move to the Mountain West Conference (MWC), in 2012, the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl will pit a team from the MWC against a team from Conference USA in the annual college football bowl game played at Honolulu’s Aloha Stadium on Christmas Eve.

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