Honolulu Festival Dazzles Day and Night With Weekend Filled With Free Activities, March 10-12

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Cultural Showcases Feature Performances, Arts, Exhibits, Parade and Fireworks

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Taiko drummers perform at 2016 Honolulu Festival.

"We are proud to bring the Honolulu Festival to the people of Hawaii and provide them with the opportunity to experience and interact with the cultures of Asia and the Pacific,” said Tsukasa Harufuku, president of the Honolulu Festival Foundation.

The Honolulu Festival kicks-off its 23rd annual celebration with an exciting line up of Asia Pacific culture showcases through music, dance, crafts, arts, exhibits, and special presentations before concluding in Waikiki with a parade and fireworks show, March 10-12.

The Festival is free and open to the public with a schedule of dynamic performances taking place at three convenient locations – Hawaii Convention Center, Waikiki Beach Walk, Ala Moana Center– on Saturday, March 11 and Sunday, March 12.

Presented by the Honolulu Festival Foundation under the banner of “Pacific Harmony,” the Festival’s goal is to help perpetuate the strong cultural and ethnic ties between the people of Asia Pacific and Hawaii, a commitment conveyed in this year’s theme: Cultural Harmony, Journey to Peace.

“We are proud to bring the Honolulu Festival to the people of Hawaii and provide them with the opportunity to experience and interact with the cultures of Asia and the Pacific,” said Tsukasa Harufuku, president of the Honolulu Festival Foundation. “With free admission and a variety of entertainment and events, the festival is perfect for families and children of all ages.”

Since 1995, the Honolulu Festival has been a major contributor to Hawaii’s tourism economy during a traditionally off-peak travel period. The Festival has brought tens of thousands of visitors to Hawaii from Asia Pacific. This year, an estimated 5,000 people will participate in the festival, comprising more than 150 groups from the Pacific Rim and Hawaii.

The weekend of cultural festivities will conclude Sunday evening in Waikiki with two highly-anticipated events. First, the always-entertaining Grand Parade will commence at 4:00 p.m., with performers, floats, and groups from Asia Pacific and Hawaii making their way along Kalakaua Avenue.

Following the parade, Honolulu’s sister city, Nagaoka dazzle residents and visitors alike with the spectacular Nagaoka Fireworks Show that will light up the night skies over Waikiki Beach, starting at 8:30 p.m.

Honolulu Festival Highlights

Cultural Performances and Exhibits
Saturday, March 11, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 12, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Cultural music and dance performances will be held at Three locations: Hawaii Convention Center, Waikiki Beach Walk and Ala Moana Center. In addition, the Hawaii Convention Center will feature a wide array of cultural activities, arts, crafts, exhibits, and foods appealing to all ages, including:

  • Ennichi Corner: Designed specifically for children, the Ennichi Corner will offer fun, hands-on activities inspired by the traditional Japanese Saint’s Day festival. Children will be introduced to customary Japanese games, crafts, and traditions.
  • Craft Fair and Exhibitions: Crafters will display a wonderful variety of cultural art and exhibits.

Story Presentation and Movie Presentation: Persona Non Grata
Saturday, March 11, (12:00 – 3:30 p.m.)
Sunday, March 12, (12:00 – 3:30 p.m.)
Movie-lovers will enjoy the fascinating story of Persona Non Grata, a new film about Japanese diplomat during World War II who helped save over 6,000 Jewish refugees from the Nazis. The movie premiered in U.S. theaters earlier this year and will be screened at the Hawaii Convention Center following a story presentation by Akira Kitade. Admission is free.

Grand Parade
Sunday, March 12, Start – 4:00 p.m.
Following Sunday’s cultural performances, Kalakaua Avenue will take center stage for the Grand Parade. Festival groups and performers from Asia Pacific and Hawaii will dance, sing and stage cultural demonstrations for the delight of residents and visitors lined along the sidewalk. The highly entertaining parade will also feature marching bands and floats, highlighted by the fire-breathing dragon Daijayama.

The Grand Parade is recognized by the City of Honolulu and presented with a Legacy Award for its achievements and continued service as a mediator between the City of Honolulu and its sister-city, Nagaoka City (Japan).

Nagaoka Fireworks Show
Sunday, March 12, Start – 8:30 p.m.
The Honolulu Festival will conclude with the spectacular Nagaoka Fireworks Show over Waikiki Beach. The fireworks will be shot from barges positioned off the midpoint of Waikiki Beach.

Honolulu Festival Special Events

Educational School Tours
Friday, March 10, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (by invitation only), Hawaii Convention Center
Hawaii school students will take a cultural field trip to the Hawaii Convention Center to interact with visiting performers and artisans. Students will get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at many of the Festival exhibits and activities, including taiko drumming, calligraphy, and storytelling.

Friendship Gala
Friday, March 10, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m., Hawaii Convention Center
The Friendship Gala features exciting cultural entertainment by Honolulu Festival performers, along with delicious cuisine from Oahu’s premier restaurants. Funds raised by the Friendship Gala supports the Honolulu Festival Foundation’s educational and cultural programs in Hawaii. Tickets: $90 per person ($70 under age 21; free for age 6 and under). Available at http://www.honolulufestival.com.

About The Honolulu Festival
Supported by the Honolulu Festival Foundation, Hawaii Tourism Authority, and corporate sponsors, the 23rd annual Honolulu Festival features a weekend of free arts and cultural displays and entertainment performances for all to enjoy, March 10-12.

Under the banner of “Pacific Harmony” and the theme, “Cultural Harmony, Journey to Peace” the Honolulu Festival’s goal is to help perpetuate the strong cultural and ethnic ties between the people of Asia-Pacific and Hawaii.
The Honolulu Festival Foundation supports educational and cultural programs for the benefit of Hawaii’s schoolchildren and the community-at-large through public outreach and charitable efforts.

For more information about the Honolulu Festival and its schedule of events, please visit http://www.honolulufestival.com. Follow updates about the Festival on Twitter (@honfestival), Instagram (@Honolulu_Festival) and become a fan of its Facebook page (Honolulu Festival).

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Media Contact:
Julie Tabarejo
Anthology Marketing Group
(808) 539-3409
Julie.Tabarejo(at)AnthologyGroup(dot)com

Jourdyn Kaarre
Anthology Marketing Group
(808) 544-3081
Jourdyn.Kaarre(at)AnthologyGroup(dot)com

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Jourdyn Kaarre
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