Honolulu Festival a victim of pandemic for third straight year

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T0103HONOLULUFEST_C_HR [Credit: Courtesy the Honolulu Festival Foundation]
The Honolulu Festival, which includes free music, dance and other cultural performances in addition to a parade and firework show, has been canceled for the third consecutive year. Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Honolulu Festival Foundation

The 2022 Honolulu Festival, scheduled for March 11 to 13, has been called off for the third consecutive year by the event organizers due to continuing pandemic-related issues.

The festival “has been canceled as a health and safety precaution to help prevent a surge in Covid-19 infections among Hawaii residents and visitors,” the Honolulu Festival Foundation said in a statement.

“Our board of directors decided that trying to push forward with the Honolulu Festival next March would be unwise considering the ongoing high number of Covid delta variant cases occurring globally this winter, coupled with the sudden rise of the omicron variant and the uncertainty of its effects on people’s health,” Honolulu Festival Foundation president Hiroyuki “Keith” Kitagawa said.

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There are no plans to reschedule the festival later in 2022.

“In addition [to Covid-19 concerns], staging the Honolulu Festival takes many months of planning and logistics and requires a tremendous amount of work by dozens of dedicated volunteers. Asking everyone to keep going forward and then canceling the festival at a later date would be disrespectful to their service,” Kitagawa said.

The festival, which had been held annually from 1995 to 2019, attracts visitors and music, dance and arts groups from across the Pacific Rim for a weekend of free cultural activities held at the Hawaii Convention Center, Ala Moana Center, International Market Place, Waikiki Beach Walk and other venues. Special events such as the Waikiki Grand Parade and Nagaoka Fireworks Show typically attract thousands of spectators.

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