Cultural festivals in the Hawaiian Islands from May, June, July, August 2024

An intricately-made lei presented in a lei-making competition in Hawaii

We curate the most comprehensive lists of the islands’ top cultural events so that you can try to find one that you can enjoy on your Hawaii vacation. These cultural events can provide a wonderful way to learn about and appreciate Hawaii’s music, dance, crafts, arts, foods and more!

We create these lists of the top cultural festivals three times per year in the following blocks:

  • January through April (See this year’s list.)
  • May through August (publishing in April)
  • September through December (publishing in August)

To make the list of festivals “skimmable” for you to find the dates and island(s) that correspond to your vacation, we organize the festivals chronologically under each month. The format for each entry is:

Date (or date range) – Island – Event 

To keep this list as streamlined as possible, we link to the events for you to learn more about them and get further details.

The next several months are shaping up to be an exciting season of cultural festivals across the Hawaiian Islands. Let’s take a look.

May 2024 Cultural Festivals & Events in Hawaii

1st – All Hawaiian Islands – Lei Day – The beautiful traditions of the Hawaiian lei is celebrated throughout Hawaii. Check local newspapers and/or your concierge for special Lei Day events that may be held near where you’re staying. Note that when Lei Day falls on a weekday, some events may be held on the weekends before and after May 1st. Here are some notable Lei Day Celebrations on most of the major islands that are planned for May 1st this year:

1st – 9th – Oahu – World Fireknife Championship at Polynesian Cultural Center. One of the highlights of luau shows is the fireknife performance. This competition attracts the world’s best fire knife dancers.

5th – Oahu – Kapu’uola Hula Festival

5th – Kauai – 8th Annual Kauai Steel Guitar Festival 

11th – Oahu – Le’ahi Festival showcases local craft vendors.

18th – Molokai – 3rd Annual Molokai Fair

18th – 27th – Hawaii (Big) Island Honoka’a Western Week is a celebration of the paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) history and culture.

27th  – Oahu – Memorial Day Events – A ceremony at Punchbowl and Lantern Floating Festival are two of Hawaii’s top Memorial Day events. Check our Oahu Memorial Day Events page which will be updated in May.

June 2024 Cultural Festivals & Events in Hawaii

1st – 8th – Hawaii (Big) Island – Kau Coffee Festival celebrates both the coffee and the region of Kau. Though not as well-known as Kona coffee, Kau coffee is has won international awards in coffee competitions.

6th  9th – Maui – Kapalua Wine and Food Festival

6th – 16th –  Oahu – 13th Festival of Pacific Arts & Culture – This festival is the world’s largest celebration of indigenous Pacific Islanders.

7th – 9th – Oahu – Pan-Pacific Festival returns in 2024 after a five-year hiatus.

7th – 9th – Hawaii (Big) Island – 7th Annual Hawaii Kuauli Pacific & Asian Cultural Festival celebrates the cultural “melting-pot” of Hawaii’s Big Island.

Various dates from the 1st through the 15th – All Hawaiian Islands – King Kamehameha Celebration — The first king to unite the Hawaiian Islands, King Kamehameha, is celebrated across the islands. If you like parades, this holiday offers a good chance to see one in Hawaii. The state holiday of King Kamehameha Day is officially on June 11th, however celebrations can take place on the weekends around June 11th. Check local papers and/or with your concierge for celebrations. Some noteworthy events are:

8th – Hawaii (Big) Island – Street Eats, A Kailua Village Food Truck Festival

8th – Kauai – Kauai Poke Fest

23rd – Maui – Kihoalu 2024, the 33rd Annual Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival – Maui Style

To be announced – Hawaii cultural festival at Pu’uhonau o Honaunau National Historical Park

July 2024 Cultural Festivals & Events in Hawaii

Typically on held on July 1st – Lanai — Pineapple Festival — Lanai Pineapple Festival celebrates the history and culture of the islands’ pineapple plantation history. When details are announced, see this link for more information.

4th – All islands —  Independence Day – Many fun events are held across the islands to celebrate the 4th of July. We post the top fireworks shows, parades and more in these July 4th island guides, which will be updated in mid to late June:

8th – 13th – Oahu – Waikiki Steel Guitar Week

18th – 28th – Kauai –  Koloa Plantation Days is one of Kauai’s biggest festivals of the year. The multi-day event is in its 38th year.

19th – 20th – Molokai – The Molokai Holokai Ho’olaule’a combines celebrations with two of Hawaii’s most challenging ocean paddling events.

20th – Oahu – Prince Lot Hula Festival is in its 47th year.

26th – 28th – Hawaii (Big) Island – Hilo Orchid society Annual Show and Sale

27th – Oahu – 15th Annual Hawaii International Ukulele Festival

To be announced – Hawaii (Big) Island – Hawaiian Cultural Festival hosted by Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

August 2024 Cultural Festivals & Events in Hawaii 

3rd – 4th – Kauai – Annual Heiva I Kauai – a celebration of Tahitian dance in it’s 22nd year.

13th – Oahu – Don Ho’s Birthday – Celebration this legendary entertainer at International Marketplace where the Don Ho Show opened in 1963.

17th – 25th – Oahu – Duke Kahanamoku Ocean Festival honors Hawaii’s legendary waterman, Duke Kahanamoku, with several ocean sport competitions in Waikiki.

23rd – 25th – Maui – Gathering of The Voyagers celebrates the history and culture of canoe paddling through demonstrations, arts, crafts and more.

31st – Oahu – 42nd Annual Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival

Ongoing Cultural Programs at Hawaii Shopping Centers

So, those are the bigger cultural events in Hawaii from May through August 2024. On top of those festivals, many Hawaii shopping centers host excellent cultural programs. For examples, you might catch a hula show or learn to play the ukulele or learn how to make a lei or even stargaze.

Cultural programs hosted by the shopping centers are generally free to enjoy and are ongoing throughout the year. (Of course these shopping centers hope that people will shop and dine in the center during their visit.) Here are Hawaii shopping centers that regularly host cultural programs:

Dear Go Visit Hawaii Readers,

These lists are extremely time consuming to create. Would you please let us know if you find them useful for your vacation planning? Please let us know either way so that we know how to focus our efforts in the future.

Mahalo,

Sheila

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