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Oahu celebrates its diversity

Visitors are invited to discover the rich culture and diversity of Oahu at one of its many festivals and events occurring throughout the year. Oahu’s festivals and events provide visitors and locals with an opportunity to embrace the island’s multi-cultural heritage, deep traditions and customs that are special to Oahu. The following is a listing of upcoming notable festivals and events: Music & Entertainment !!! April, October, Hawaii International Film Festival: HIFF showcases independent feature films and is held at the Signature Dole Cannery Theatres each spring and fall. (www.hiff.org) !!! April 26 – May 25, Mele Mei: The Hawaii Academy of Recording Artists presents the third Annual Mele Mei, a month-long celebration of Hawaiian music. Mele Mei will encompass more than 30 workshops, concert performances and will culminate with the 36th Annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards on May 25. (www.melemei.com) !!! July 4, Ala Moana Center Fireworks: For the 22nd consecutive year, Ala Moana Center will present one of the largest and most spectacular fireworks shows in the US. In addition to the fireworks, Ala Moana will offer a weekend’s worth of live entertainment and a mall-wide shopping savings pass. (www.alamoanacenter.com) !!! July 21, Ukulele Festival Hawaii: A free five-hour concert showcases the finest ukulele players from around the world, along with national celebrities, Hawaii’s top entertainers, and a ukulele orchestra of more than 800 students, mostly children. (www.ukulelefestivalhawaii.org) !!! Aug. 18, Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival: The festival celebrates the cultural importance of, perpetuates and preserves the unique acoustic guitar art form of “Ki hoalu,”which means “loosen the key”and takes place at Kapiolani Park. (www.slackkeyfestival.com) Arts & Culture !!! Through March, Xtreme BUGS at Bishop Museum: This outdoor exhibit offers visitors a larger than life experience focusing on the world of interesting, intriguing and bizarre insects. Bugs such as ladybugs, spiders, butterflies and more come to life through Xtra-large animatronic and static models. (www.bishopmuseum.com) !!! March 1-3, Honolulu Festival: The 19th annual Honolulu Festival celebrates cultures from across the Pacific. This three-day celebration of art, music, dance, and crafts culminates with a Grand Parade in Waikiki, followed by the Nagaoka Hanabi fireworks display. (www.honolulufestival.com) !!! May 1-2, Lei Day Celebration: On May 1, a celebration that includes entertainment, food booths and a lei-making contest takes place at the Queen Kapiolani Park and Bandstand in Waikiki, followed by an honouring of Hawaii’s alii at Mauna Ala and Kawaiahao on May 2. (www.honoluluparks.com) !!! May 8-11, We Are Samoa Festival: The We Are Samoa Festival at the Polynesian Cultural Center features the 21st Annual World Fireknife Championship and High School Samoan Cultural Arts Festival. (www.polynesia.com) !!! May 27, Lantern Floating Hawaii: Every year on Memorial Day, thousands of people gather at Magic Island at Ala Moana Beach Park to honour ancestors and loved ones who have passed away. At sundown, more than 3,000 candlelit lanterns are set afloat on the ocean. The ceremony also features live entertainment, as well as inspiring speeches. (www.lanternfloatinghawaii.com) !!! June 7-9, Pan-Pacific Festival: The 34th annual Pan-Pacific Festival is a three-day international cultural celebration that features a weekend of Pacific Rim cultural performances, demonstrations, hula, food, hoolaulea (block party) and parade. (www.pan-pacific-festival.com) !!! June 9, 97th Annual King Kamehameha Floral Parade: This colourful celebration honours the reign of King Kamehameha, who was responsible for uniting the Hawaiian Islands under his rule in 1795. !!! July 12-13, Te Mahana Hiroa Tumu O Tahiti: The 14th annual Te Mahana Hiroa Tumu O Tahiti, the largest Tahitian dance competition in Hawaii, returns to the Polynesian Cultural Center showcasing the skill of dancers dedicated to preserving the art, culture and traditions of Tahiti. !!! July 14, Korean Festival: This popular cultural celebration highlights the unique food, dance, art and music of Korea. In the past, festivities include Korean cooking lessons, a singing competition, and even a kim chee eating contest. (www.koreanfestivalhi.com) !!! July 19-20, Hawaii All-Collectors Show: This annual collectibles and antiques show and sale features more than 200 booths with one of the largest selections of Hawaiiana under one roof. (www.ukulele.com) !!! July 20, Prince Lot Hula Festival: This all-day festival, held in the Moanalua Gardens, features hula halau (troupes) gracing the hula mound, as well as crafts, kapa making, lauhala weaving, lomilomi massage, traditional Hawaiian games and more. (www.moanaluagardensfoundation.org) !!! Aug. 24-25, Greek Festival: Held at McCoy Pavilion at Ala Moana Beach Park, the festival celebrates Greek culture with ethnic food, live entertainment, cultural booths and more. (www.greekfestivalhawaii.com) !!! Sept. 21, 28, Aloha Festivals: This premier showcase celebrates Hawaii’s music, dance and history, and is intended to preserve the islands’ unique traditions. Festivities on Oahu include a Waikiki Ho’olaule’a on Sept. 21 and a floral parade on Sept. 28. (www.alohafestivals.com)

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