10 Reasons Why This Spring is the Time to Visit Oahu

Hawaiian culture and history will be celebrated this spring through music, dance and island-wide festivals and events, and visitors can take advantage of several travel deals from April through June on Oahu.

Oahu
Photo by Freeimages.com/Jenny W.

Below are the 10 reasons to visit Oahu this spring:
 
Celebration of Hawaii’s Music
 
1) The Hawaiian Ukulele Turns 100:
Kamaka Hawaii, Inc., celebrates 100 years of manufacturing the world’s premier ‘ukulele with a limited edition custom Kamaka pineapple ukulele. In 1916, Sam Kaialiilii Kamaka founded his one-man shop and today three generations continue his legacy. www.kamakahawaii.com  
 
2) Mele Mei: Month-long Celebration of Hawaii’s Music (May)
Mele Mei celebrates Hawaii’s music, hula and culture with events are held throughout the entire month of May at various hotels, venues, on the beach and statewide. www.melemei.com  
 
3) Na Mele Aloha, Aloha Alii (May 14, 2016)
Take in the mele (songs) and stories written by Hawaiians expressing their deep affection in musical tributes to their alii (royalty). The concert, part of a four concert series at the Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives, is a way to immerse in the culture and history of the Hawaiian people.
 
4) SPAM (April 30)
Rated as one of the top annual food festivals in Hawaii, the 14th annual Waikiki SPAM JAM is a family-friendly street festival that celebrates Hawaii’s affinity for SPAM. Local residents and visitors alike head to Kalakaua Avenue to sample SPAM dishes served by some of Honolulu’s finest restaurants. www.spamjamhawaii.com
 
5) Lei Day Celebration (May 1-2)
On May 1, a celebration that includes entertainment, food booths and a lei-making contest takes place at the beautiful Queen Kapiolani Park and Bandstand in Waikiki. The event is followed by an honoring of Hawaii’s monarchy at Mauna Ala and Kawaiahao Church on May 2. On the North Shore, the Waimea Valley May Day Music Festival will kick-off the Waimea Valley Summer Concert Series with live Hawaiian music, culture and fun activities. Waimea Valley is home to a world class botanical garden, Hawaiian archaeological sites, cultural activities and a stunning 45-foot waterfall at the back of the valley. Lei Day was created to celebrate the Hawaiian custom of making and wearing lei. This year marks the 89th anniversary of the celebration of Lei Day in Hawaii. Visit www.honoluluparks.com
 
6) World Fireknife Championships (May 12-14)
Hawaii’s largest Samoan cultural event and a pre-eminent showcase of Samoa’s traditions, the We Are Samoa Festival, is highlighted by two annual events: the World Fireknife Championships and the High School Samoan Cultural Arts Festival. With contestants as young as six years old, the 24th annual World Fireknife Championships brings the most talented fireknife dancers to the PCC during a three-night heated competition for a chance to win the coveted title of World Fireknife Champion. During the High School Samoan Cultural Arts Festival, students from across Hawaii will demonstrate their knowledge of Samoan culture by competing in a series of traditional practices including protocol and speech making, coconut husking and fire making, dance movements and more. Visit www.polynesia.com 
 
7) Lantern Floating Hawaii (May 30)
Every year on Memorial Day, thousands of people gather at Magic Island at Ala Moana Beach Park to honor ancestors and loved ones who have passed away. At sundown, more than 3,000 candlelit lanterns are set afloat on the ocean, a traditional Buddhist rite originating in Japan. The ceremony serves to honor those who have sacrificed their lives in war, pay respect to ancestors and loved ones who have passed away, and pray for a harmonious and peaceful future. The ceremony also has live entertainment by local and international musicians, as well as inspiring speeches. Visit www.lanternfloatinghawaii.com
 
8) 100th Annual King Kamehameha Celebration Floral Parade (June 11)
This colorful celebration honors the reign of King Kamehameha, who united the Hawaiian Islands under his rule in 1795. Starting at 9 a.m., a floral parade with traditional pau riders, representing the Hawaiian royal court of each island on horseback, energetic marching bands, decorated floats and much more traverse the streets of Honolulu, from Downtown to Kapiolani Park in Waikiki. This is followed by the festivities of the King Kamehameha Hoolaulea—a street block party filled with Hawaiian entertainment, food booths and local crafts—down  Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The celebration continues into the evening, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Waikiki Shell with the anticipated 100th Parade Celebration Concert, in remembrance of this great alii. Visit www.hawaii.gov/dags/king_kamehameha_commission/
 
Exploring Hawaii’s History
 
9) 75th Commemoration of the Attack on Pearl Harbor 
This year marks the 75th commemoration of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the US Navy, National Park Service and Pearl Harbor Historic Sites partners have events planned throughout the year to commemorate this important time in history. The new Pearl Harbor Visitor Center Tour was launched this January and features the USS Arizona Memorial Narrated Tour and admission to USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park. June 4-5, the Pacific Aviation Museum will pay tribute to the 74th anniversary of the Battle of Midway with the 2016 Biggest Little Airshow. Guests will experience remote control 1/5-scale warbirds, jets, and helicopters performing aerial stunts, candy bombings for the kids, aircraft displays, a kids’ activity zone, prize drawings and hangar tours. Visit www.PearlHarborEvents.com or www.PacificHistoricParks.org
 
10) Kapa (opens May 6)
A new exhibition recognizing the cultural significance of Hawaiian Kapa and kapa making will open at the Hawaii State Art Museum May 6. The exhibit will include the works of contemporary kapa practitioners from the Art in Public Places Collection. Admission to HiSAM is free. Visit www.sfca.hawaii.gov
 

Spring Travel Deals 

- Spring Offer at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa – Save 30 percent on a five-night stay or 25 percent on a four-night stay. Booking dates: now through March 21, 2016; travel dates: April 3 through June 13, 2016.

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Visit www.resorts.disney.go.com/aulani-hawaii-resort/rooms-offers/special-offers/spring-discount/ 

- Waikiki Escapes at Hilton Hawaiian Village –  Guests can save up to 20 percent off of all room categories from resort view to oceanfront accommodations on 22 acres of Waikiki's widest stretch of beach. Book now for stays through May 31. Visit www.hiltonhawaiianvillage.com

- Family Getaway at Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk – Save up to 25 percent off Deluxe Two-Bedroom Ocean View Suites and Deluxe Two-Bedroom Prime Ocean View Suites (sleeps five) and Premium 2 Bedroom Plus Den Prime Ocean View Suites (sleeps eight). You'll also receive a $300 Resort Credit (not applicable at BLT Steak) and complimentary valet parking for one vehicle. For stays of three nights or longer through June 30, 2016. Visit www.trumphotelcollection.com/waikiki/specials/family-getaway

- Keiki Adventures at Turtle Bay – The resort will offer Keiki Adventures for the spring break travel season (March 16-April 16)

- Keiki Waterman Adventure Kawela Bay and banyan tree exploration, outrigger canoe turtle search, tandem surf, and stand-up paddle boarding ($149 per child; ages 7-14)

- Keiki Outfitter Adventure – tennis with a pro instructor, biking with a certified guide, and foot golf & disc golf ($99 per child; ages 7-14)

-Keiki Horsemanship 101 – introduction to horse care, stable operations, and horseback riding with a certified guide ($129 per child; ages 7-14)

- Kid’s Happy Hour – Kids eat for 50 percent off between 5-6 pm daily at North Shore Kula Grille. The resort is also offering a 20 percent off with breakfast package. Visit www.turtlebayresort.com/spring
 
All information is subject to change without notice. For more information visit  www.visit-oahu.com 

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