With paniolo, or Hawaiian
cowboys, as its theme this year, Aloha Festivals will celebrate its
60th anniversary season in September and October. This eight-week
celebration of Hawaii's culture offers events on each of Hawaii's
main islands. Festivals enable visitors and locals to rub elbows,
and most events are free.
Started a year
after the end of World War II, Aloha Festivals is the only
statewide festival in the U.S. From modest beginnings, it has grown
to include hundreds of events, adding value to a visit in autumn,
the slowest time of year for Hawaii tourism.
"We're at a time
where visitors to the islands want to experience Hawaii's cultural
diversity," said Mark Polivka, president of the Aloha Festivals.
"We chose the paniolo theme because it represents a unique aspect
of our culture.
The word paniolo
-- both singular and plural -- derives from the Hawaiian
pronunciation of "espanol," for it was Mexican cowboys who created
Hawaii's earliest cattle ranches in the 1830s. Cattle ranching
remains an active Hawaiian industry, primarily on the Big Island
Festivals' wide scope, hoteliers and wholesalers do not promote or
package it, although many hotels do host festival
clients traveling to Hawaii through November can integrate Aloha
Festivals into itineraries. Highlights include:Big
Sept. 20 to
21: Hula Festival at the King Kamehameha Kona Beach
Sept. 30: Hoolaulea
(street fair) in Hilo.
Sept. 12 to
13: Festival luau.
Oct. 20: Cultural
festival at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa.
Hawaiian concert, Lanai City.
Sept. 30: Paniolo Day
Royal Court investiture.
Investiture of the Royal Court, at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua.
Oct. 7: Lahaina
Oct. 7 to 14: Week of
events in Hana.
Sept. 9 to 17:
Paniolo exhibition, the Bishop Museum.
Sept. 16: Aloha
Festivals Parade, 60th anniversary concert at the Waikiki
A full events
schedule is available online at www.alohafestivals.com.
To contact reporter Allan Seiden, send e-mail to [email protected].