By Kathy Hansberry
Local residents, island visitors, and dignitaries that included Mayor Peter Carlisle, Keiichi Tsujino, President–Honolulu Festival Foundation, and our very own Barry Wallace, Executive Vice President – Hospitality Services gathered at Waikiki Beach Walk® on March 1 to kick-off the 17th annual Honolulu Festival. Outrigger Enterprises Group is once again a proud sponsor of this special festival that promotes cultural understanding and connects a myriad of cultures through music, art, and celebration. The festival runs from March 11-13, 2011, with free cultural activities and performances held at the Hawai‘i Convention Center, Ala Moana Center, Waikiki Shopping Plaza, DFS Galleria Waikiki, and Waikiki Beach Walk.®
For years, the Honolulu Festival has been an integral part of Hawai‘i’s cultural celebration for many reasons. Mainly, it celebrates the diversity of cultures – a tradition Outrigger has embraced for well over 60 years. While the festival may have begun with a Japanese framework in mind, it has expanded over the years to include a wide array of groups and performers from across the Pacific Rim, including this year’s new participants from Korea, Canada, and New Zealand. This festival showcases what makes Hawai‘i unique — the melting pot of many diverse cultures and traditions.
As Hawai‘i’s largest locally owned hotel company, Outrigger proudly collaborates with Honolulu Festival because it is a proven event that attracts hundreds of visitors to Hawai‘i – which in turn benefits the entire community. The Honolulu Festival and events like it excite visitors and entice them to travel to our island. Travelers today want an authentic cultural experience and that’s exactly what they’ll take away from the Honolulu Festival.
This year, the festival’s grand finale will surely end with a bang and light up the skies of Waikīkī with the all-new Nagaoka Fireworks Show off of Waikīkī Beach on Sunday evening following the parade. Yet another reason to make this event a “must see!”
For a full schedule of Honolulu Festival activities at Waikiki Beach Walk® and other venues, log on at www.honolulufestival.com.