Event Finds: Honolulu

1) Honolulu Marathon

Pounding the pavement can be hard on your soles - but pounding the pavement in paradise can also be good for the soul. Each year the Honolulu Marathon - one of the top ten marathons held in the world - welcomes an estimated 25,000 runners to make the more than 26 mile trek through some of the most scenic streets anywhere on the globe.

Save your sneaks and snatch a ride on the event's free shuttles, which offers transportation to the starting line from 2 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the Honolulu Zoo. Then enjoy the ride - errr, run - as you race your way through Downtown Honolulu, along the beaches of the South Shore, past East O'ahu and end at Kapiolani Park.

The Honolulu Marathon isn't just for elite competitors. Run into some fun and enjoy events and activities the week leading up to the race. Stretch your legs when picking up your packet at the Honolulu Marathon Expo. The event is open to the public and features an assortment of vendors and activities. If you're still racing for more, check out Honolulu Marathon's website for additional activities like their carbo-loading luau and race day concert.


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2) Prince Lot Hula Festival

There's a lot going on at the Prince Lot Hula Festival, held the third weekend in July at Moanalua Gardens. Sway on over to experience traditional ‘auana (contemporary hula) and the passionate movements of kahiko (traditional hula) in honor of Prince Lot. Also known as Kamehameha V, Prince Lot is credited with reviving hula in Moanalua, one of his favorite recreation spots. To honor his legacy, each year the Moanalua Gardens Foundation hosts an estimated 13,000 spectators to celebrate with food, music and of course, dancing.

The annual Prince Lot Hula Festival has been expanded from one day to two, providing guests access to even more halau, including out-of-state performers and new activities. Performed on Moanalua Garden's original pa hula (one of the few original hula mounds remaining in Hawai‘i) the entire event offers guests two days of authentic entertainment.

Pack some mats and towels and spread out in the shade of one of the many trees, while you soak in a day of hula, crafts and local refreshments. While there is no cost to attend a suggested donation is requested to support the Moanalua Gardens Foundation and its ongoing work to preserve and perpetuate the native culture, environment and people of Hawai‘i. 



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3) 50th State Fair

In Hawai‘i any chance to celebrate is fair game. So it's no surprise that each year we celebrate our state with what else, a fair! The E.K. Fernandez 50th State Fair takes place each summer and welcomes thousands to the Aloha Stadium for ring tosses, rollercoasters and ringmasters.

If you're looking for a way to spend your day the fair has it all! Special attractions include the 50th State Fair Circus, an acrobatic equestrian stunt show, racing pigs and petting zoo as well entertainment by local performers. Grab the best seats in the house and a break from all the excitement by arriving at least 15-20 minutes before the shows start. And families will get a rise with their favorite rides like the traditional carousel, mini coaster, super slide - and one of the hottest rides for locals, the Zipper.

The 50th State Fair typically runs each year from the end May through early July. Guests can check out the fair Friday through Sunday. Hours vary so you'll want to visit the website for exact dates and times. 

Photo Credit: EK Fernandez


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4) Mele Mei

Music lovers will want to mark their calendars to catch the sweet melodies of Mele Mei – an annual concert series celebrating Hawaiian music. The three-month event puts the island’s music and culture at center stage with performances taking place statewide from April through June.

Visitors can make sure that their trip hits just the right note with performances at various Waikiki hotels, including Waikiki Parc’s sister property Halekulani. This year’s Mele Mei at Halekulani will feature free, live Hawaiian music from 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. by celebrated artists including:

May 8 – Ledward Kaapana
May 15 – Kaiao
May 22 – Ho’okena
May 29 – Sean Na’auao

Arrive early to snag a table at this outdoor venue and settle in with their cool collection of mixed drinks and scrumptious pupus (appetizers). Then simply soak in a few hours of unforgettable music, backed by the crashing waves of Waikiki Beach and the unforgettable backdrop of Diamond Head. You’ll be singing the praises and shouting “hana hou” (encore) along with the locals in no time.

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