Four Must-Attend Summer Events and Festivals in Honolulu County



FireworksSummer is here!

The kids are out of school, and humidity starts to saturate the Honolulu County’s (City and all of Oahu) balmy weather.

Parents sprint from one activity after another while grannies either enjoy or fret over the chaos brought by grandkids in the house.

Summer is, perhaps, one of the seasons kids look forward to every year. To them, summer means catching up on activities they missed during school days and enjoying any other events organized in their locales.

To the parents, and sometimes grannies, summer is a get-up-and-go-make-the-kids-busy season. It also means schedule adjustments and driving and dropping the kids from one place to another. If you are planning to attend some events and festivals for your kids, read on.

Whether you are a resident or a nonresident parent, grandparent, or kid trying to make the most out of this summer, Honolulu is ripe with events and festivals that surely will give vim to your vacation. Below are my top four must-attend summer events and festivals in the county.

1.) Ala Moana Center Fireworks (July 4, 2012) – I know, fireworks is not unique to Honolulu. I know too that, on the 4th of July, every state in the country will be celebrating this momentous occasion. But who wants to miss this familiar yet out-of-the-ordinary event? Who wants to miss the lightening of the sky and the amazement from the aesthetics of the fireworks display? No one. And surely you will not, while you are in Honolulu. The Ala Moana Center, the largest shopping mall in Hawaii and the largest open-air shopping center in the world, hosts fireworks show for every 4th of July for 21 consecutive years. With the gold sand beach of the Ala Moana Beach Park as a backdrop, Ala Moana Center fireworks is undoubtedly a must-see and must-attend event in the county. For more information, visit the shopping mall’s website.

2.) Makahiki Fun Fair (July 7, 2012) – Presented by the Kaneohe Lion’s Club and the City and County Department of Parks and Recreation Kaneohe Complex, the Makahiki Fun Fair offers different activities for the whole family. From games, canoe rides, to pool activities, the Fun Fair certainly will bring enjoyment to every member of the family regardless of age. The event will be held in the Kaneohe District Park upper parking lot and swimming pool along Keaahala Road. The fun fair runs from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. For more information, contact Ms. Linda Liu at (808) 233-7306.

3.) 42nd Annual Ukulele Festival (July 22, 2012) – Aside from pineapple and lei, another item people instantly associate with Hawaii is ukulele. Ukulele, a small guitarlike device, is not just another string instrument in Honolulu County. It is the heart of one of the festivals flocked by tourists and residents alike. Since 2004, ukulele fans and mavens gather together at the Kapiolani Park for more than 6 hours and dance and sing to the soothing sounds of the said string instrument. The highlight of the event is an orchestra made of more than 800 children playing the ukulele passionately. Some known entertainers also grace the Ukulele Festival. For this year, James Ingram will grace the event. It will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Organizer Ukulele Festival Hawaii will also hold ukulele display and ukulele lessons. For more information, visit their website.

4.) 72nd Annual Na Hula Festival (Aug. 4-5, 2012) – Of course, if ukulele is often associated to Hawaii, it is also the case with grass skirt. And when I speak of grass skirt, I meant hula. Hula is a dance form native to Hawaii, which dramatizes the lyrics or words in a chant or song accompaniment. The hula dancer who is in a grass skirt employs different, and sometimes complex, hand, hip, and foot movements in a sheer gracious manner. The Na Hula Festival celebrates the artistry and grace of hula by providing a venue for the hula instructors to showcase the hula dancing skills of their students. To be held in the Kapiolani Park Bandstand, the two-day festival will start at 10 a.m. and usually lasts for six hours. For more information, contact Kaiulani Kauahi at (808) 768-3041.

Summer is probably not a time to slow down for parents. Definitely, it is a time to explore events and places with the kids and the rest of the family. If you want some real summer fun with the touch of aloha, visit the Honolulu County. Enjoy!



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