Event Finds: Waikiki
Celebrating Japan's southernmost prefecture for more than 30 years, Waikiki's Okinawan Festival has been bringing together people from all ethnicities and walks of life to honor the Uchinanchu (Okinawan) culture in Hawai‘i. From local Okinawan favorites like the Anda Pop (because very few things in life are as good as andagi - a deep fried dessert - on a stick dipped in chocolate) to getting up close and personal with the Okinawan dragon dog -- this festival offers something for everyone.
If you attended the Okinawan Festival years ago you may remember it at Ala Moana Park's McCoy Pavilion but it has since grown out of those digs and is now held every September at Kapi‘olani Park in Waikiki to accommodate the more than 50,000 guests it attracts annually.
If you can, make plans to check out the Okinawan Festival Bon Dance which is traditionally held on Saturday night, and allows participants of all ages and ability levels to get their bon dance on. In between sets grab a fundagi (or two) for the fam. The Okinawan-style funnel cake, lightly dusted in sugar is only available during the Saturday bon dance and will have you doing a special fundagi-inspired jig.
If you prefer to drive, the Hawai‘i United Okinawa Association - which hosts the event each year and is the beneficiary of all proceeds -- hosts a shuttle bus that runs continuously from Kapi‘olani Community College to the festival. To get all the latest and greatest details on this year's Okinawan Festival, visit www.okinawanfestival.com.