The Okinawan Festival offers the perfect blend of delights for shopping enthusiasts, culture aficionados, and history buffs alike. This annual event is a gateway to the vibrant world of Okinawan culture, presenting an array of culinary treasures, unique crafts, captivating entertainment, and insightful historical experiences. Kelly talked with Brandon Nakasone, Okinawan Festival Chairperson, to talk about the festival happening this weekend!
Culinary Treasures on Heiwa Dori: Heiwa Dori, a bustling marketplace, invites visitors to indulge in Okinawa’s culinary wonders. From dried kelp (konbu) to bitter melon tea (goya-cha) and zesty Shikwasa juice, a diverse range of flavors awaits exploration. Snack lovers can rejoice in the assortment of Okinawan treats available.
Craft Gallery Extravaganza: Artistry takes center stage at the festival’s craft gallery. One-of-a-kind clothing, exquisite jewelry, and quirky t-shirts captivate the eye. The gallery is a treasure trove of gift items, each carrying a touch of Okinawan charm.
A Green Haven of Plants: Garden enthusiasts will revel in the festival’s plant offerings. Orchids, outdoor plants, and houseplants create a verdant paradise. Water lilies, succulents, and air plants add natural elegance. For those keen on home gardening, a variety of plants for fruits, vegetables, and herbs are available, with the convenience of plant storage during the festival.
Retail Therapy at HUOA Store: The HUOA Store presents a collection of festival memorabilia, from polo shirts to hats and jerseys. Collaborations with In4mation, books, and more offer keepsakes for all.
Local Flavors at the Country Store: The Country Store, known as Machiya Gwa, showcases local produce from Mari’s Garden, Ala Moana Produce, and Aloun Farms. Andamiso, a savory miso and pork paste, adds an authentic touch. Refreshing Plantation Iced Tea & Lemonade from Jane’s Tea Stand can be savored in limited edition festival cups. Exclusive eco bags and delectable treats further enrich the experience.
Cultural Extravaganza: Entertainment Galore: The festival resonates with captivating performances. Traditional dances, music, taiko drums, and karate demonstrations involve every generation, showcasing Okinawa’s cultural richness. Beyond tradition, the festival offers saxophone quartets, Ukulele Hale, and the much-anticipated bon dance.
Journeying into Okinawa’s Past: History enthusiasts can explore the Himeyuri Peace Museum display, commemorating the sacrifice of teenage student nurses during the Battle of Okinawa. The We Are HUOA booth provides insights into the University of the Ryukyus’ international exchange program, offering a deeper connection to Okinawan history.
For more info, visit https://okinawanfestival.com/.
41st Okinawan Festival:
SATURDAY / September 2 / 9AM – 5PM
Live entertainment: 10am – 5pm
Bon Dance: 5:30pm – 9pm
(Only Okinawa Soba, Andagi, Andadog, and Bento will be sold during bon dance, while supplies last)
SUNDAY / September 3 / 9AM – 4PM
Live entertainment: 10am – 4pm