Party like a local at events throughout Islands

The Hawaii Theatre in Honolulu advertises First Friday specials.
The Hawaii Theatre in Honolulu advertises First Friday specials. Photo Credit: Tor Johnson/Hawaii Tourism Authority
Tovin Lapan
Tovin Lapan

Several of the Hawaiian islands feature regular town parties that offer a great opportunity for tourists to shop, snack and take in local culture. Stores stay open late, food stands sell local delicacies and visitors can browse the works of local artists before taking in live music. Most of the events take place on Friday evenings, and while some are only once a month, other islands can't resist throwing a party every week.

Honolulu's Chinatown district hosts an Art Walk the first Friday of every month. Peruse the many shops and galleries during their extended hours, when they also feature special exhibitions and live music. Then, continue the evening at one of the many trendy restaurants and bars that are packed into Chinatown.

The island of Maui keeps things fresh by rotating its weekly party among four different towns. First Fridays is in Wailuku Town, second Fridays is in Lahaina, third Fridays in Makawao Town, and fourth Fridays take place in Kihei. Get the weekend kicked off in style by taking in the sights, sounds and flavors of the host town, each of which displays its own unique character.

When the month has a fifth Friday, Lanai City takes the baton, and a ferry shuttles visitors between Maui and Lanai.

Historical Hanapepe is typically tranquil and serene, but on Friday evenings the town center gets an injection of action. More than a dozen art galleries feature unique works from local artists, while wandering musical acts provide the soundtrack and food trucks serve up island favorites. 

Hawaii Island
In Hilo the first Friday festivities attract locals and tourists alike, who wander the streets exploring the plethora of stands and vendors. It is a one-stop-shop for exploring the local dishes, artisan works and live music.

But the Big Island doesn't stop the fun there. One Sunday per month Kailua Village shuts down its main street to vehicle traffic and hosts a party. A free Hawaiian music concert is the capstone of the event, which can draw big crowds. Like the other regular island parties, a variety of vendors come out for the Sunday affair, offering food, crafts and live music.

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