HONOLULU -- The annual Aloha Festivals, held throughout the
islands, will present more than 300 events during September and
Last year's celebration was immersed in nostalgia, with the
theme, "Hali a Aloha: Treasured Memories," reflecting the
festivals' 50-year his-tory. This year's event will recognize the
volunteers.The theme is "E Ala, E Kokua: Arise and Lend
With a full- and part-time staff of 10, Aloha Festivals has more
than 30,000 unpaid volunteers involved in the events. "The 1997
theme is a celebration of volunteerism and recognition of the value
of volunteers," Jeffrey Bell, Bishop Museum senior vice president
and this year's festival president, said. "It honors those who have
given the most valuable gift of all, their time."
In addition, this fall marks the 50th anniversary of the Floral
Parade in Waikiki, planned for Sept. 13.
The first Aloha Festivals, called Aloha Week at the time, was
held in 1946. The first parade took place the following year. Aloha
Week gradually has expanded from a week to two months in duration.
The name was changed to Aloha Festivals in 1991. The weeklong
celebration was started by Honolulu's JC-Old Timers as a way to
attract visitors to Waikiki in the slow fall season and to help
preserve Hawaii's culture. Traditionally, the fall was the Makahiki
period, celebrating the harvest with dance, music and feasting.
Aloha Festivals is Hawaii's largest such event. Official dates
of the festivals on each island are the following: Oahu, Sept. 12
to 21. Kauai, Oct. 10 to 19. Molokai, Sept. 28 to Oct. 12. Big
Island, Sept. 19 to 28. Maui, Oct. 3 to 12. Lanai, Oct. 17 to
The islands also have events that fall outside the official
festival dates. Some islands hold the investiture of Royal Courts
for the celebration prior to the festivals. Dates of investitures,
some of which have already occurred, are as follows: Oahu, at
Honolulu Hale (city hall), Aug. 7; Big Island, in Volcanoes
National Park, Aug. 23; Lanai, in Lanai City, Oct. 17; Kauai, at
Polinhu Heiau, Aug. 10; Molokai, at Kaunakakai, June 20, and Maui,
Pihana Heiau, Sept. 20.
Financial backing for the festivals is raised through the sale
of Aloha Festivals ribbons and merchandise, an appropriation from
the state Legislature and from corporate and private donations.
Most events are free. Admission to other events is with a $5
ribbon, which can be purchased at local retail outlets.
For more information, in-cluding the latest events listing,
agents can contact Aloha Festivals at (800) 852-7690; fax (808)
545-1770, or e-mail [email protected]
The Web address for the event is