HONOLULU -- The 52nd annual Aloha Festivals will be held in
September and October.
It will feature more than 300 events on six islands during the
two months. Signature events will again include the downtown and
Waikiki ho'olaule'a (street parties) and Waikiki's floral
This year's theme, Oa Ka Oiwi (the natives endure), is a
celebration of the Hawaiian heritage and culture. "It encourages
all who call Hawaii home, or who have the pleasure of visiting, to
delve deeper into learning about the rich heritage of Hawaii,''
said Manu Boyd, 1998 festivals president and an Office of Hawaiian
Earlier this summer, the festivals' promotion kicked off with
ceremonies at Honolulu Airport. As the official festivals'
interisland carrier, Aloha Airlines unveiled and blessed a 737
painted with an ilima lei across its fuselage. The plane will serve
as the official aircraft of the Aloha Festivals.
Official dates of the festival on each island are: Oahu, Sept.
11 to 20; Kauai, Oct. 9 to 18; Molokai, Sept. 27 to Oct. 11; the
Big Island, Sept. 18 to 27; Maui, Oct. 2 to 11, and Lanai, Oct. 16
However, the islands also have events that are outside of the
The first events are usually investitures of royal courts on
each island, some of which have already taken place.
According to Janet Hyrne, festivals executive director, contest
events have grown in popularity. The Hawaiian Falsetto Contest was
moved from Waikiki to the Hawaii Theater in downtown Honolulu last
year because larger space was needed. This year, she said, all the
theater's 1,100 seats are expected to be filled for the Sept. 5
The Hawaiian Spelling Bee, for example, to be held Sept. 19 at
Ward Warehouse, a Honolulu retail center, will be the finals this
year. New qualifying spelling bees will be held on the neighbor
Also, the Sam Choy Poke Contest (poke is marinated raw fish) to
be held at the Big Island's Hapuna Beach Hotel Sept.27, will also
be a final event, with new poke contests held on the other
The first Aloha Festivals, then called Aloha Week, was held in
1946; the first parade was the following year. The 1996 event's
theme reflected on 50 years, while last year's honored its
With a full- and part time staff of 10, Aloha Festivals has more
than 30,000 unpaid volunteers involved in the events. Most events
are free or admit guests with a $5 ribbon,
Phone: (800) 852-7690
Fax (808) 545-1770
E-mail [email protected]