Cultural Events in Oahu
THE 10 BEST Oahu Cultural Events
Cultural Events in Oahu
- Traveler favoritesThings to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.
- Traveler rankingHighest rated attractions on Tripadvisor, based on traveler reviews.
Diamond Head - Kapahulu - St. Louis
What travelers are saying
- We went on our last night to the Memorial Day Lantern Floating. There were thousands of people there and we were standing near the stage. Even though the speaker diidn’t speak English, you could feel the respectful tone in her speech. Seeing all those lit lanterns on the water was an emotional experience and so glad we went.Written June 19, 2019This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
- So its a 30,000 people marathon - out and back along major roads which most of it is fairly flat. good medal and easy expo in centre of town.
Negatives - the start is total chaos , no idea of how to organise pens and a staged timing start - was a total joke .
Lacked proper first aid help on the course , just cold ice spray.
fire works went off AFTER the start and beyond you !!!
Positives - showers at the finish line on the course . , great medal , big finishing area .
friendly event .Written January 5, 2020This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
- Christmas in Honolulu, WOW. I live in Indiana and at Christmas time it is always cold. See the trees and exhibits in sunny Hawaii was great. The trees were beautifully decorated and had some fun themes. This is a must see for anyone who is in Hawaii at Christmas time. The trees inside City Hall were all decorated with a theme. Great work on the trees and an excellent exhibition. Be sure to go down after dark to see the trees as they are lit up.Written January 10, 2019This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
- "Mahalo" to the organizers, volunteers, corporate sponsors and, this year's participants of the 2022 Aloha Festivals floral parade. I flew up special from the neighbor island to watch the floral parade live, which was on hold for years due to the pandemic.
I chose the Ala Moana Hotel by Mantra for lodging, for its convenient location adjacent to the 300+ stores and restaurants at the Ala Moana Center and, accessible to an early morning walk to secure our spot on Saturday morning after picking up Starbucks, located at the hotel's lobby level. We were satisfied with our first initial stay at this hotel and as a kama'aina, will return. Read my Tripadvisor review for more about the Ala Moana Hotel, written with an open mind, understanding that even though challenges arise, it's how both the operation and self finds positive ways to accept and move forward.
With our hotel being at the doorstep to the starting location of the parade, we were able to easily secure a shady spot while having the stone wall available to sit on, unobstructed without anyone in front of us. If you have a UV umbrella, don't forget to bring it or order one online on Amazon and, don't forget to bring sunscreen. We were situated across from Hawaiki Tower, which houses the television studio KHON. Our choice location proved to be smart, a short walk to Foodland Farms across the street for purchase of cold drinks and snacks and with a clean restroom available too.
The parade's starting point was just half a block down from us and, the first unit passed us around 9:20am. All marching bands began playing at our location, which was the starting point of crowds lining the street fronting Ala Moana Center on Ala Moana Blvd. Beautiful pa'u or horse units with each Hawaiian island represented with a pa'u Queen and attendants, were adorned in each island's respective color. That, along with some of the floral floats, especially from Hawaiian Airlines and, the high school marching bands, were the highlights of the parade for me.
This festival was created to allure visitors and bring a boost to our state's tourism industry during an off-peak season/month which was after summer but before the busy holiday season. Well, as a kama'aina, the return of the festival's floral parade and affordable roundtrip airfare price of $77 on Hawaiian Airlines allowed me to assist in bringing in revenue to Honolulu as a "visitor" and, contributed as a statistic for the state's tourism bureau. It was an honor to be a part of this classic Hawai'i cultural festival as a spectator and, I implore others to support other Hawai'i events statewide that perpetuate and showcase the rich Hawaiian culture and, our beautiful spirit of Aloha. Take care of yourself and each other.....with love, humility and, respect.Written September 30, 2022This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
- The parade starts in the city and ends at Kapiolani Park. There are floats, bands, Hawaiian Island representatives on horseback in costume, community and marching groups. Try to find a spot where there will be shade (at the time of the parade) and bring a seat if you don't like standing because the parade is quite long.Written July 1, 2018This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
- I almost didn’t go but glad I did go. I had a great time. Food and music were great! It is crowded, but a lot of fun!Written April 28, 2021This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
- Went to convention center and checked out the the booths and free shows. We loved trying all the different food samples. The parade was great wish the different entries didn't have such large gaps.Written March 14, 2023This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
- Being half Okinawan, I was of course jovial about attending this free, 2-day event with some of my immediate family members for the first time. While I can't say whether or not being outdoors or in was better, I will always prefer to be outside.
The festival started in 1982 and has grown ever since, relocating four times to accommodate the increasing numbers along with other factors.
1982 Ala Moana Beach Park
1985 Thomas Square Park
1990 Kapiolani Park
2018 Hawaii Convention Center
It's jam-packed with films, performances, dancing, crafts, food, fashion, grocery, plants and exhibits. There used to be an andagi cooking competition between Okinawan clubs which allowed patrons to eat fresh, hot andagi. But because the venue was indoors, they were cooked offsite and brought in. Bummer.
The majority of the event took place on the first level of the convention center in the gargantuan Kamehameha Exhibit Hall which spans just over 204,000 sf. An obon dance floor took centerstage with surrounding chairs, entertainment stage with more seats, food booths, beer stand, and several exhibit vendors were in this one room. I enjoyed my all-time favorite pig's feet soup, served piping hot with mustard cabbage, togan, daikon and konbu. So delish!
The third level of the convention center features a theater where a film about tofu was shown. Smaller meeting rooms housed vendors selling groceries, crafts and clothing. I picked up a very cool t-shirt and some Okinawan instant soba. The rooms were packed with people but flowed smoothly.
The majority of payments were done by scrip only, though a few places would also accept cash and cards. One scrip is equal to 50-cents, sold at booths throughout the event.
On top of $10 convention center parking, a pay-for shuttle ran between the center and McKinley High School. Luckily we were staying at the Ala Moana Hotel so we walked over.
Animals (sans for service ones), hard shell coolers, lawn chairs.
We went on Saturday morning for a few hours, just enough time to eat, purchase items and browse the vendors. Other hardcore family members stayed longer and went on Sunday too. Food like the pig's feet soup, andagi and andadog constantly ran out and lines were long. I luckily got my soup without issue but didn't get to try any andagi or andadog as they were sold out during my time there.
Most of my family concluded that being indoors was best as it was cool and clean. Also, pushing someone in a wheelchair was easier on concrete and carpet than off-roading on grass and dirt in Kapiolani Park.
I don't need to go again but glad I got to experience it.Written September 10, 2018This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
- Beautiful view of Honolulu, great food & engaging activities. This was definitely the highlight of my trip.Written May 19, 2023This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
- This place is great. Lots of artists to pick from and lots of things to do. You can browse all the artists work and pick out a custom design.Written January 15, 2020This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Frequently Asked Questions about Oahu
- These places are best for cultural events in Oahu:
- Lantern Floating Hawaii
- King Kamehameha Celebration Floral Parade
- Honolulu City Lights
- Honolulu Marathon
- Aloha Festivals