Aloha Festivals was first held in 1946 as Aloha Week. During the past seven decades, it has become a celebration of Hawaiian culture that integrates the traditions of the Hawaiian Islands through music, dance, cuisine, and art.
This year, Hawaii’s longest running cultural festival expanded with new partnerships and events to celebrate the spirit of aloha.
The month-long Aloha Festivals officially kicked off on Aug. 31 with the Royal Court Investiture & Opening Ceremony held on the grounds of Helumoa at the Royal Hawaiian’s Coconut Grove, the historic home of Princess Pauahi.
If you missed the event that features hula, chant, and pageantry, be sure to catch it in 2020. You’ll witness the newly-chosen royal court in their colorful traditional cloaks, helmets, head feather lei, and other symbols of their reign in a spectacular display modeled after the royal ceremonies of ancient Hawaii.
Among these are kahili, ceremonial feathered standards (seen flanking the royal court) are constructed to honor and spiritually protect high-ranking individuals. Kahili still hold a significant place in traditional regalia, as well as, reflect the deep respect Hawaii’s people have for their beloved royalty.
You’ll still be able to enjoy two other festival signature events that will roll out during the month, the 67th Annual Waikiki Hoolaulea on Sep. 21 and 73rd Annual Floral Parade on Sep. 28. Both will highlight the 2019 theme “Na Moolelo Ukulele: Ukulele Stories”, showcasing the stories behind the musical instrument’s rise to fame in the islands.
Hawaii’s Biggest Street Party
This is one Hawaii celebration you can’t miss! Aloha Festivals will host Hawaii’s largest block party on Sep. 21 with the 67th Annual Waikiki Hoolaulea. Waikiki’s bustling beachfront Kalakaua Avenue becomes even livelier with booths highlighting island crafts, culture, and cuisine.
the best local flavors from favorites like Noi Thai Cuisine, Waimanalo
Country Farms, ShoreFyre, and others serving “ono-licious grinds”. You’ll also find exclusive Hawaii’s Finest Aloha Festivals merchandise available during the block party.
Adding to the fun of this event, promising to be “bigger and better than ever before”, will be six entertainment venues along Kalakaua Avenue. Count on local musical acts like Maoli, Kapena, Hookena, Brother Noland and Robi Kahakalau to rock the evening.
Aloha Festivals’ Ohana Events
Oahu will also celebrate Aloha Festivals with Ohana Events, where locals and visitors enjoy cultural activities, live music performances, and exclusive discounts when presenting Aloha Festivals merchandise.
The festival's longest running Ohana Event, the Pearlridge Keiki Hoolaulea, will return on Sep. 14 at Pearlridge Center. The free, full-day event is perfect for families and their keiki with musical groups, halau hula (hula schools), and activities. And be sure to catch the Pu Haaheo Third Annual Keiki Conch Shell Blowing Contest.
On Sep. 22, Tiki’s Grill & Bar at the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel welcomes you to talk story and learn about Hawaii’s official musical instrument with builders and musicians from the Hawaii Ukulele Guild. Listen to local talents kanikapila with food and beverage specials available on Tiki’s lanai overlooking Waikiki Beach. This free event is open to all ages.
At select events, attendees can purchase 2019 Aloha Festivals ribbons, apparel, and other merchandise, including logo wear from a limited Aloha Festivals x Hawaii’s Finest collaboration. The full schedule of Ohana Events can be found here.
73rd Annual Floral Parade
As a spectacular conclusion to the month-long Aloha Festivals, the 73rd Annual Floral Parade will roll out between 9am-noon from Ala Moana Park, then traveling along Kalakaua Avenue to Kapiolani Park.
This colorful procession will showcase intricate floats decorated with a rainbow of fresh flowers, halau hula, women and men on horseback displaying the traditional art of pa`u riding, marching bands, and civic leaders sharing their aloha spirit.
This year’s parade will honor entertainers Raiatea Helm as grand marshal, and Gordon Mark and Walter Kawaiaea as ambassadors of aloha for their contributions to Hawaii’s musical heritage.