|Sunset on Oahu // Photo by Freeimages.com/Mindy Ka|
Each year, visitors to Oahu have the opportunity to connect with the local community and experience popular events that showcase the island’s rich arts and culture scene.
Here's a sampling of some of the hottest festivals and events that might intrigue clients heading to Oahu this winter and beyond.
On the third Saturday of every month, Kakaako comes alive with Honolulu Night Market, an evening event that combines fashion, live music, art, shopping and local food. Held under the Honolulu city lights, this monthly night market celebrates the best of urban island culture featuring local artists, designers, musicians and chefs.
Every last Thursday of the month, Art + Flea presents a unique monthly shopping experience for Hawaii’s talented creative’s to showcase their goods and talents. More than 60 independent artists, vintage collectors, food trucks, handmade aficionados and fashion designers are featured at each event, drawing an eclectic crowd of shoppers, music and art lovers alike. Additionally, on the second Sunday of every month Art + Flea hosts Sunday Funday Market at Ward Village.
Each winter, the world’s best big wave surfers are invited to Waimea Bay on Oahu’s North Shore to compete in the Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational In Memory of Eddie Aikau. “The Eddie” can only be held when surf measures at least 20 feet (Hawaiian scale) for a full day. The holding period for the event is between December 1 and the last day in February. When the surf is big enough, thousands flock to watch the likes of Kelly Slater and Bruce Irons compete in this prestigious surfing competition.
The Sony Open in Hawaii kicks off the PGA Tour by bringing 144 of the world’s best professional golfers to Oahu’s exclusive Waialae Country Club from January 11-17. Past participants include notable golfers including 2005 winner, Vijay Singh, 2003 and 2004 winner, Ernie Els, and Hawaii’s own Michelle Wie and Tadd Fujikawa. The six-day event is one of the largest charity events in the state of Hawaii.
Wanderlust Oahu is returning to Turtle Bay Resort from February 25-28. The festival brings together the world’s leading yoga teachers, top musical acts, renowned speakers, exquisite chefs and more. Single event tickets, and one-, three- and four-day passes are available along with special room rates.
From March 11-13, the 22nd Annual Honolulu Festival will celebrate the people and culture of the Pacific Rim and Hawaii, offering dynamic dance performances, music, educational programs and exhibits. Under the theme, “Pacific Harmony,” the three-day extravaganza also features the ever-popular Grand Parade through Waikiki and the Nagaoka Fireworks Show over Waikiki Beach. Honolulu Festival activities are held at various locations throughout Oahu, making them easily accessible to residents and visitors alike.
Ala Moana Center’s annual week-long spring shopping event, "Shop a Lea," will take place March 14-20. The event presents locals and visitors with more than 100 experiences in fashion, health and beauty, active lifestyle, home décor, travel and cuisine. Included as part of the Shop a Lea lineup are fashion shows and trunk shows, exclusive products, Centerstage events, gifts-with-purchase, mall-wide shopping and dining offers and much more.
The 14th annual Waikiki SPAM JAM is set for April 30. Rated as one of the top annual food festivals in Hawaii, this family-friendly street festival 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.
Join the Polynesian Cultural Center on Jan. 16 for the 2016 Moanikeala Hula Festival. Enjoy a true cultural exhibition showcasing both modern and traditional styles of hula throughout the day by numeroushula halau (hula groups) of various ages.
Turtle Bay Resort will host its first Surf Country Culinary Festival in spring 2016. In celebration of the North Shore’s diverse bounty of agriculture and aquaculture, guests will enjoy an evening of “farmer’s market-style” food prepared by local celebrity chefs, as well as wines, spirits and craft brews.