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Free events highlight Honolulu Festival lineup

  • STAR-ADVERTISER / 2015

    Performers along Kalakaua Avenue during the Honolulu Festival’s Grand Parade in 2015.

  • STAR-ADVERTISER / 2012

    Tokiwa dancers Riho Ina, center, and Aya Sato, right, from Japan, entertain kids at the Hawaii Convention Center during the 2012 Honolulu Festival.

The Honolulu Festival Foundation announced this week its lineup of events for the 23rd annual Honolulu Festival in and around Waikiki from March 10 through March 12.

This year’s festival theme is “Cultural Harmony, Journey to Peace,” which underscores the foundation’s goal to perpetuate strong cultural ties between Hawaii residents and our neighbors throughout the Asia-Pacific region. All events, except the festival’s annual Friendship Gala on March 10, are free to attend and open to all ages.

The festival wraps up March 12 with a Grand Parade along Kalakaua Avenue starting at 4 p.m. It will be followed by a fireworks display presented by the city of Nagaoka, Honolulu’s sister city in Japan, at 8:30 p.m.

Other scheduled events include:

>> Cultural performances and exhibits: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 11 and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 12 at the Hawai’i Convention Center, Waikiki Beach Walk and Ala Moana Center.

>> Ennichi Corner: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 11 and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 12 at the Hawaii Convention Center. Designed specifically for children with hands-on activities inspired by the traditional Japanese Saint’s Day festival, including customary Japanese games and crafts.

>> “Persona Non Grata” Screening: Noon to 3:30 p.m. March 11 and noon to 3:30 p.m. March 12 at the Hawaii Convention Center. Movie lovers will enjoy the fascinating story of a Japanese diplomat during World War II who helped save over 6,000 Jewish refugees from the Nazis. The movie will be screened following a story presentation by Akira Kitade.

>> Honolulu Festival Friendship Gala: 7 to 8:30 p.m. March 10 at the Hawaii Convention Center. Featuring cultural entertainment by Honolulu Festival performers and food from Oahu’s premier restaurants. Ticket sales support the Honolulu Festival Foundation’s educational and cultural programs in Hawaii. Cost: $90 general admission; $70 for those under 21; free for keiki under 7 years old.

Get more information about the festival and purchase tickets for the Friendship Gala online at honolulufestival.com.

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