President of Waikiki Improvement Association
Aloha, Springtime in Waikiki brings the lilting melodies of Hawaiian music as May Day Celebrations abound, including the daylong event on May 1 in Kapi‘olani Park. Sponsored by the City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Parks and Recreation, it is a 9-to-5 program of flowers and Hawaiian music.
The Na Hoku Hanohano awards cap Mele Mei. Mele Mei is the celebration of Hawai‘i’s music, hula and culture. The 3rd Annual Mele Mei Celebration features some of Hawai‘i’s best, including Na Hoku Hanohano award-winning artists and Lifetime Achievement Award honorees. Music and hula events are held throughout the entire month of May at various hotels, venues, on the beach and statewide. From ‘ukulele to steel guitar, traditional Hawaiian music to slack key, island reggae to rock—and everything in between—Mele Mei has something for everyone. For national and international participants and visitors, Mele Mei will showcase events and performances that make Hawai‘i the destination of choice. See the Mele Mei website, www.melemei.com, for details.
June has the Pan Pacific Festival, which brings together people from around the world to Hawai‘i to celebrate and share international culture and traditions, set for June 7 to 9 at various locations throughout Waikiki.
The three-day celebration kicks off with cultural performances and demonstrations at its Performing Arts Showcases, followed by a nighttime ho‘olaule‘a (block party) with live entertainment on multiple stages, food booths and crafts, and a hula festival featuring dozens of hula halau (troupes) performing on Waikiki Beach. The festival culminates with a colorful parade made up of thousands of participants in lively costumes marching up Kalakaua Avenue.
The Kamehameha Day celebration honors the reign of King Kamehameha, who was responsible for uniting the Hawaiian Islands under his rule in 1795. A colorful parade in his honor takes place on June 8th from ‘Iolani Palace to Kapi‘olani Park, starting at 9 a.m. and features brightly decorated floats, energetic marching bands and traditional pa‘u riders, who represent a Hawaiian royal court on horseback. The parade ends at Kapi‘olani Park where you can enjoy the ho‘olaule‘a from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Waikiki, as always, is Hawai‘i’s gathering place.