New festivals celebrate books and music, Hawaiian nostalgia

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HONOLULU -- This spring, two new festivals on Oahu will join the 70 or so such happenings already being held across Hawaii.

Admission to both festivals -- one celebrating books and music, the other vintage Hawaiiana -- is free.

Set for April 22 and 23 on the grounds of Honolulu Hale, or City Hall, the Hawaii Book and Music Festival will bring together 100 authors, poets, playwrights, storytellers, publishers, booksellers, songwriters, composers, arrangers and musicians.

More than 50 events -- including performances, presentations, demonstrations, signings, games and an interactive childrens book and music fair -- are planned.

The mission of the HBMF, said event Chairperson Blair Collis, is multifaceted.

Of course, we want to promote appreciation of books and music, Collis said. In addition, we hope the festival will raise awareness of Hawaiis diverse multicultural heritage, which is shared so beautifully through our literary and musical arts.

A portion of the proceeds from the HBMF will support literacy efforts in Hawaii, including the Read to Me International Foundation, a group that promotes reading aloud to children.

The HBMF will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on both days. For more information, call (808) 732-9575 or visit www.hawaiibookandmusicfestival.org.

Three weeks later, nostalgia will reign at Waikiki by Moonlight -- Where Vintage Meets Vogue, a one-day festival conceived by the nonprofit Waikiki Improvement Association to showcase the best of Hawaiis past and present.

From 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on May 13, the festival will take place on Kalakaua Avenue, Waikikis main thoroughfare.

There will be much to reminisce about and much to learn about Waikiki then and now, said Rick Egged, the WIAs president.

Among event highlights will be an aloha wear fashion show; vintage and contemporary Hawaiian arts and crafts; and kahiko (ancient) and auana (modern) hula performances.

Culinary samplings include traditional island foods, specialties of Waikikis top chefs and signature dishes from long-gone but not forgotten eateries such as Canlis, Trader Vics and Don the Beachcomber.

Participants also will be able to model their hip and retro aloha wear in a contest; take ukulele lessons and peruse the  ukulele models available on the market; and view collections of old Hawaiian posters, photographs, record albums, menus, sheet music, aloha shirts and memorabilia.

Event-goers can take advantage of festival rates ranging from $73 to $375 per night at the 11 Waikiki-area resorts managed by event sponsor ResortQuest Hawaii.

For more information on the festival, visit www.waikikiimprovement.com.

To contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to [email protected].

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