The Hottest Upcoming Oahu Festivals and Events

Waikiki and Diamond Head
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Got Hawaii-bound clients heading to Oahu this summer and beyond? 

Travel Agent breaks down some the latest events on the island to spice up the traditional Hawaii vacation.

One of Hawaii’s largest beer events returns with the third annual Great Waikiki Beer Festival at Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort on August 26. The summer festival will feature a range of breweries from small-batch, local producers to eminent national breweries. Beer-friendly foods and feel-good music will also accompany this signature event.


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The annual Korean Festival is run by the Hawaii Korean Chamber of Commerce in partnership with dozens of community organizations and businesses and hundreds of volunteers. From July 14-15, the popular cultural celebration will highlight the unique food, dance, art and music of Korea. Festivities include Korean cooking lessons, a singing competition and a kimchee eating contest. 


The 20th annual Haleiwa Arts Festival will take place July 15 at Haleiwa Beach Park. The festival will feature more than 140 visual artists, live performances every hour and festival food and is complimentary to the public.


The 40th annual Prince Lot Hula Festival is a two-day event that will take place this year at Iolani Palace on July 15 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., and July 16 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. The festival is the largest non-competitive hula event in Hawaii and honors Prince Lot Kapuaiwa, who reigned as Kamehameha V from 1863 to 1872 and helped reprise hula. The free event features hula halau (hula schools) gracing the hula mound for spectators to enjoy while also showcasing native Hawaiian culture through crafts, kapa-making, lauhala weaving, lomilomi massage and traditional Hawaiian games.


Waimea Valley will present its annual Summer Concert Series with local artists such as Weldon Kekauoha and Robi Kahakalau performing throughout July and August. The Valley also continues its Moon Walk dates during the full moon phases on July 6, Aug. 5 and September 3 and the annual Kalo & Awa Festival on September 2.


Local ukulele legend Roy Sakuma and his sponsors help keep the traditional instrument alive during the 47th annual Ukulele Festival Hawaii taking place on July 16. As the largest festival of its kind, the event attracts thousands each year. A free five-hour concert showcases the finest ukulele players from around the world, along with national celebrities, Hawaii’s top entertainers, and an ukulele orchestra composed of more than 800 students. The festival benefits Ukulele Festival Hawaii, a non-profit organization. 


The Joy of Sake Festival will take place on August 4. The Joy of Sake celebrates Hawaii’s hundred-year love affair with sake—from the early days of Japanese immigration and the founding of the Honolulu Sake Brewery up to the present. Today, Honolulu hosts the annual U.S. National Sake Appraisal. After this blind tasting, all of the sake is presented for tasting by the public at The Joy of Sake. This event, with entries from every region and representing virtually every brewing style, gives an unparalleled perspective on the great variety of delicious sakes being produced today. 


The annual Reebok Spartan Race Hawaii Trifecta Weekend will take place August 5-6, at Kualoa Private Nature Reserve. The event includes four race types: sprint, super, beast and ultra-beast in one weekend. Participants can run one of these individual races, or take on the ultimate Spartan Trifecta Challenge. The race is designed to test participants’ physical and mental toughness and entitle them to accomplishment when crossing the finish line. 


From August 10-18, the Rainbow Film Festival will serve to educate and raise community awareness about gay and lesbian culture, arts and lifestyle through independent films shown at the Honolulu Museum of Art’s Doris Duke Theatre. Locally-submitted films are also featured and supported by the festival. 


First Hawaiian Bank presents the 23rd annual Made in Hawaii Festival. The state’s largest showcase of Hawaii-made products returns to the Neal S. Blaisdell Exhibition Hall and Arena from August 18 - 20. Produced by the Hawaii Food Industry Association, the festival features nearly 400 exhibitors from around the state.


Duke’s OceanFest, a weeklong festival, will take place August 17 - 27. The event features a variety of exciting water sports competitions including longboard surfing, surf polo, swimming, standup paddling and other events paying tribute to Hawaii’s Ambassador of Aloha, Duke Kahanamoku and Hawaii’s local waterman.


The 48th annual Waikiki Roughwater Swim will take place on September 4. The event attracts swimmers from all over the world as the athletes tackle the challenging waters off Waikiki. The open water swim measures 2.384 miles long, beginning at Sans Souci Beach between the Natatorium and The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel, ending near the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort. 


Aloha Festivals, now in its 71st year, is one of Hawaii’s highly regarded and oldest cultural celebrations, integrating the traditions and cultures of the islands through music, dance, cuisine and art. This year’s theme is “He Lei Aloha Ke Keiki – Children Are Our Garland of Love.” Festival events take place from Sept. 9 - 30 at various locations throughout Oahu. All events are free and open to the public, and are supported by the sale of Aloha Festivals ribbons and merchandise. 


The fourth annual Ko Olina Children’s Film & Music Festival on September 23 will feature interactive video and music activities, live stage performances, family-friendly movies from Disney/Pixar and the Hawaii International Film Festival, and a sunset finale feature film on the beach. Children's Film & Music Festival attendees can enjoy special room rates at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa and the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina.

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