Pan-Pacific fest introduces sporting events
|The Pan-Pacific Festival-Matsuri in Hawaii celebration is a colorful collection of cultural events that brings up to 4,000 participants from Japan. Besides the usual celebratory events, there also will be be a triathlon and half-marathon.|
First held in 1980 when tourist travel from Japan to Hawai'i was just starting to increase dramatically, the Pan-Pacific Festival-Matsuri in Hawaii celebration was envisioned as a means of promoting intercultural friendship, peace and understanding between the two locations. An annual showcase of Japanese crafts, food, music and traditions, as many as 4,000 musicians, dancers and artists from Japan meet up with their Hawai'i peers each year for a variety of festival events, most of which are free.
For the past 22 years, the weekend festival's schedule of events has grown to include a parade, block party, bon dance, cultural performances and this year, two brand-new sporting events: the Honolulu International Triathlon and the Hawaiian Half-Marathon.
For more information on all events, call 926-8177. An up-to-date schedule is available at www.pan-pacific-festival.com
Here's a lineup of official festival events.
11 a.m.-1 p.m., at Ala Moana Center stage; noon-3:45 p.m., Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center: Omatsuri Hiroba Outdoor Performances. Amateur performers recreate the traveling street entertainment that entertained villages in old Japan. Free.
6:30-10 p.m.: Ho'olaule'a and Block Party. Entertainers from Japan and Hawai'i (including Ho'okena) on five stages lining Kalakaua Avenue from Lewers Street to Ka'iulani Avenue. Food booths, street performers and more. Free.
9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Matsuri Friendship Gateball Match at Ala Moana Park. Better known as croquet, gateball is a major recreational and competitive sport in Japan. Free.
1-4:30 p.m.: Matsuri Stage Performing Arts Festival Show 1 at Hawai'i Theatre. Featuring a selection of modern to traditional Japanese performing artists, the lineup includes Yamada Souzan Taishogoto, Kinyoren Aichi Shibu-Mikawa-manzai, Okaya Taiko Hozonkai, Tsugaru-Shamisen and All Hawaii Minyo Minbu Association. $10.
1-5 p.m.: Omatsuri Hiroba Outdoor Performances at Ala Moana Center stage. Amateur performers recreate the traveling street entertainment that entertained villages in old Japan. Also includes a hula festival. Free.
5:30-8:30 p.m.: Matsuri Stage Performing Arts Festival Show 2 at Hawai'i Theatre. Also featuring a selection of modern to traditional Japanese performing artists, the lineup includes Kindenryu Taishogoto Kinkoukai, Kyoutanabe Hawaiian Friendship Association, Sugoujishi Hozonkai, Shorin-Ryu Kobudo Eishin-no-Kai, Ougaryu Gineikai, Arikawa Hazashi Daiko. $10.
7-10 p.m.: Ballroom Dance at Ala Wai Golf Course Ballroom. Admission required.
9 a.m.-2 p.m.: Honolulu International Triathlon. This first-time festival event features a 1.5-kilometer swim (from Waikiki's Duke Kahanamoku Statue to the Waikiki Sea Wall), 55K bike ride (from Kapi'olani Park to Sandy Beach and back to Kapi'olani Park) and 15K run (from Kapi'olani Park, twice around Diamond Head, and back to Kapi'olani Park). Entry fees start at $65. Register: 737-2422.
9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.: Matsuri Ground Golf at Ala Moana Park. Novices are invited to this simplified version of golf played on flat grass in two eight-hole rounds. Free.
1-2:10 p.m.: Omatsuri Hiroba Outdoor Performances at Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center. Amateur performers recreate the traveling street entertainment that entertained villages in old Japan. Free.
5-7 p.m.: Matsuri Parade. The parade features marching bands, costumed performers, taiko drummers and more than 1,500 participants from Japan, Hawai'i and the mainland United States. The route starts at Fort DeRussy, ending at Kapi'olani Park. Free.
6:30-9 p.m.: Bon Dance at Kapi'olani Park. Food, crafts and, of course, the traditional summertime hongwanji festival. A 45-minute mini-concert by Japanese singer Kiyoko Suizenji will be followed by a fireworks show at 9 p.m. Free. Free parking/shuttle available at Kapi'olani Community College parking lot.
5-9 a.m.: Hawaiian Half Marathon. The inaugural event's 13-mile course starts at Magic Island, goes through Waikiki, around Diamond Head, and ends at Kapi'olani Park. Entry fee $25 for Hawai'i and mainland U.S. residents, $100 for international entries.
5 p.m. June 16: Saori Yuki and Sachiko Yasuda Doyo Concert at McKinley High School auditorium. Well-known sister singers of the traditional Japanese folk music style for children called doyo. $15-$35.