Oahu's festivals and events provide visitors and locals an opportunity to embrace the 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, top amateur and professional sporting competitions and championships, or a culinary event featuring the island's top chefs, there is sure to be something for everyone.
Here is a listing of notable festivals and events (all are subject to change without notice):
First Friday of Every Month
This free event invites people of all ages to downtown Honolulu's galleries and studios to view work by various artists. More than 20 galleries participate in the evening's events, which include live music, street entertainment, wine tasting, and shopping in downtown's antique stores. Guests can also experience the many bars, clubs and restaurants that make downtown a unique destination. For more information call 808-521-2903.
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.
Fridays Throughout the Year
Rockin' Hawaiian Rainbow Revue
This weekly activity at the Super Pool of the Hilton Hawaiian Village is a favorite among visiting families. Enjoy a tribute to Duke Kahanamoku and a crescendo of torch lights, hula dancers, drums, and a huge fireworks finale.
Various Weekends Throughout the Year
Sunset On The Beach
Enjoy a free film on a 30-foot screen under the stars on Queens Beach in Waikiki. Movies range from action to comedy and are always family friendly. Live entertainment and food vendors add to the event. Arrive early to score a great seat and catch a glimpse of the setting sun.
January - March 2013
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 O‘ahu'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 Hawai‘i and has raised more than $11 million for local not-for-profits since 1999.
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. The 22nd Annual Moanikeala Hula Festival is the longest running and first of PCC's cultural events. The Festival, which honors the legacy of kumu hula "Aunty" Sally Wood Naluai, features hula halau from across Hawaii and beyond.
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. The annual event was recognized nationally by Runners' World magazine as one of the top "100 Great Road Races."
February 16 & 17, 2013
Waikiki Aquarium Aloha Koi Society Show
The Waikiki Aquarium will host the 5th Annual Aloha Koi Society Show on Feb. 16-17. This event will showcase hundreds of top-quality koi for the public to view, as well as educational seminars and keiki activities. Read our feature on the Waikiki Aquarium.
February 23, 2013
3rd Annual Hawaii Chocolate Festival
Dole Cannery Shops will host the 3rd Annual Hawaii Chocolate Festival. Events include 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."
February 28–March 3, 2013
Wanderlust Yoga and Music Festival
Enjoy the ultimate mind, body and soul wellness festival on O‘ahu. 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.
March 1-3, 2013
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. Read more about the Honolulu Festival.
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. (808) 955-9517