Okinawan Festival

Attended the 31st Annual Okinawan Festival this morning at Kapiolani Park. Had a great time! This year’s theme is entitled “Sharing Uchinanchu Aloha.” It was about a one-hour walk from my condo. It was drizzly and hot at the same time.

There was entertainment at the Bandstand. There were dignitaries, dancers, and taiko drummers. The place was packed!

Here are some of the young performers rehearsing backstage.

Of course, I went for the food. There were food booths, craft tents, and games for the keiki. I had the ashitibichi or pig’s feet soup. It was so incredibly ono! It made my mouth pucker up because of the collagen.

The weather cleared up, and it was a beautiful day. I also met up with friends and former students there.

Nothing like shave ice on a hot Hawaiian day. Not quite “Matsumoto’s,” but it definitely hit the spot.

One of the most popular attractions at the festival has to be the andagi.

It was hot, fresh, crunchy, and awesome. Had to “refuel” for the long walk back home.

Had a fantastic morning. So great to reconnect with my Okinawan heritage….

It’s Greek to Me….

After the GE repair guy came by today (dishwasher recall,) I walked over to the Greek Festival of Honolulu. It’s a pretty great event. This was only my 2nd time.

It’s held in the McCoy Pavilion at the Ala Moana Beach Park. It is the perfect venue for an event such as this. Today was a warm, sunny day, and it was packed!

Of course I had to have a gyro. It was so ono. I washed it down with an ice cold Mythos.

Inside the auditorium, I saw a delightful folk dance.

I also watched a stunning travel video on the Greek Islands.

Those incredible monasteries truly amazed me. I would love to visit!

Before leaving, I sampled the lukaniko sausage from the souvlaki stand. It was really good too! Spicy, savory, and slightly sweet.

Had a great time at the Greek Fest. Hope to visit Greece someday. For now, I’ll just enjoy this event to the fullest. Opa!

Ukulele Festival

Attended the Ukulele Festival this morning at the Kapiolani Park Bandstand in Waikiki. Had a great time!

I actually took the city bus (with a few crazy people and a bunch of normal people.) This was my 2nd time catching the Bus in 25 years.

I got off near “Walls” at Waikiki Beach. The weather was spectacular.

There was a beach volleyball tournament going on.

The bandstand is a really nice venue. There’s a small pond off to the side. Entertainment was ongoing. There were local artists, as well as international artists. There were ukulele schools from all over. And fortunately, the sound system was really good.

There were thousands in attendance. It was crowded! Behind the seating area were tents with families picnicking and enjoying the day. The coolest part was seeing so many people in the audience with their own ukes. They also made a killing selling those blue festival t-shirts.

There were food tents, shaved ice, malasadas, and ukulele manufacturers. Here are a few beauties from the Kamaka factory. There was even a tent giving free ukulele lessons to tourists. Too cool….

This was especially a great event for the hundreds of ukulele students who got to perform before family and friends.

So…. my plan was to get in some exercise today, so I walked the 3-miles home. I walked along Kalakaua Avenue.

I passed by the world famous Waikiki Beach on the left and the International Marketplace on my right. I crossed over the Ala Wai Canal and turned up Kapiolani Boulevard by the Convention Center. From there, I passed by the Ala Moana Shopping Center to get home. Man, it was hot today.

Feel like practicing my uke now. Had a blast at !

Honolulu Festival

Walked over to the Honolulu Festival this morning. It was held at the Convention Center, about 1.5 miles away according to Google Maps. It was free, and I had a nice time. Entertainment was ongoing. There were cultural performances, an indoor Bon Dance, crafts, games, and exhibits.

The Bo-Hyun Dance Group was very impressive. They gave a powerful and precise drumming performance.

There were a lot of booths, art exhibits, and vendors. I saw an origami table and a robotics demonstration. I was only disappointed that there weren’t that many food booths. I expected to see all kinds of different foods and cooking demonstrations. I did sample a nice cup of 100% Kona coffee.

There was even a Cosplay Café where people could dress up and have their picture taken. No, I didn’t dress up….
Still, it was a fun way to spend the morning. Looking forward to Sunday evening’s fireworks display (Nagaoka Hanabi.)