It was a mostly rainy week-end in Honolulu, but when the skies cleared on Sunday morning, we hopped on the bus and headed downtown for the Honolulu Festival. It was so large that it was held in 3 venues — the Hawaii Convention Center, Waikiki Beach Stage and Ala Moana Center. Because we only had a few hours, we decided to go to the Convention Center first.
The Hawaii Convention Center is a gorgeous building with tall palm trees both indoors and out. There were 3 performance stages there along with several exhibit halls full of information, crafts and hands-on cultural exhibit booths from around the Pacific Rim. The theme of the event was Pacific Harmony — and there were exhibits from native Alaskan groups, Filipino groups, Chinese and Korean groups — but the majority of exhibits and performances were from Hawaiian and Japanese groups.
The first performance we saw was the Japanese Taiko Drum Ensemble, Wadaiko Mamezakura.
They were a very dynamic and energetic group. It was impossible to doze off during the performance!
After the performance we headed into the main exhibition hall.
After the the end of the exhibits, we headed down Kalakaua Avenue to watch the Festival Parade. There were more than 64 groups marching!
And then, after the parade, everyone walked down to Waikiki Beach for the fireworks display orchestrated by Nagaoka Fireworks company in Japan. The music was broadcast on a local radio station, but very few people in our section (including us) had fm radios… but the show was amazing even without music!
Here is the finale of the show!