May Events in Hawaii 2016
Holidays & Festivals Kick Off Summer

May events in Hawaii include festivals such as Lei Day, the Lantern Floating and Cinco de Mayo. It's a very exciting time to be on Oahu and is the kick off for the summer season. Read below to see what's going on.

May events in Hawaii


Cultural May Events In Hawaii

89th Annual Lei Day Celebration, Friday, 5/1/16, Kapiolani Park, 9:00am-5:30 pm, free.

Features hula and Hawaiian music performances at the band shell, lei making contests, Hawaiian games, an arts & crafts festival and the crowning of the Lei Queen and her court. Lei Day schedule and details here


The 19th Annual Islandwide Spring Crafts & Food Expo, Friday, 4/29/16-Sunday, 5/1/16 at the Neil S. Blaisdell Exhibition Hall, more info

Cinco de Mayo

May events in Hawaii Cinco de Mayo block partyCinco de Mayo Block Party, Saturday, 5/7/16, 5:00 pm-11:00 pm, Hawaii Events Center, 985 Dillingham Blvd, free, outside main stage & inside venue as well.

Block party details here







Cinco de Mayo “Cantina Crawl”, Thursday, 5/5/16, 6:00pm-11:45 pm at 11 different bars in Chinatown featuring live entertainment, DJs, games & contests. More info


24th Annual Filipino Fiesta, Saturday, 5/14/16, 10:00 am-5:00 pm at Kapiolani Park. There will be food booths, cultural activities & live entertainment. Parade will begin at Ft. DeRussy, continue along Kalakaua and end at Kapiolani Park from 9:00 am -10:00 am. See website for more information.


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Memorial Day Related

lantern floating ceremony may events hawaii

Floating Lantern Festival, Monday, 5/30/16 at Magic Island and Ala Moana beach park. Remembrance ceremony honoring those who have passed away.

Pre-ceremony taiko performance at 6:10 pm, Ceremony 6:30- 7:30 pm, live telecast here

Free parking from 7:00 am-11:59 pm at the Hawaii Convention Center, enter on Kalakaua Ave

Past crowds have drawn more than 40,000 people. For more info on where/when to pick up a lantern, times, parking, etc please visit their website here.

TIP: Go early in the morning as in 7:00am even though they don't open up until 10:00am. Your wait will be much longer, hotter & aggravating if you don't.

Only 6,000 lanterns will be given out & lines can stretch the entire length of the park or 4-5 blocks long. Take a sun umbrella & beach chair or try rotating standing in line with a friend.

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May Events in Hawaii-Theatre & Cinema


Promises, Promis: The Musical Comedy at The Diamond Head Theatre, from Friday, 5/20/16 through Saturday, 6/4/16. More info here

Equus at the Manoa Valley Theater, Thursday, 5/19/16 through Sunday, 6/5/16. Visit website for more information. Call 808-988-6131 or email with further questions.

The Actors Group (TAG) presents both “The American Dream” and "The Zoo Story" at The Brad Powell Theatre, Friday, 5/6/16 through Sunday, 5/29/16; see website for more info...

The Hawaii Theatre-featured in May:

May Day is Lei Day (hula show), 5/1, 4:00 pm
Cheech & Chong, 5/5. 8:00 pm
Peter apo's Mother's Day Kanikapila, 5/8, 4:00 pm
Shane Koyczan (author & spoken word artist), 5/11, 7:30 pm
Ballet Hawaii: Spring Showcase 2016, 5/14-5/16, various times
10th Annual MAMo Wearable Art Show, 5/18, 7:00 pm
Sugar Ray & The Bluetones w/ Monster Mike Welch, 5/19, 7:30 pm
Chance 'Um Tour (comedy show), 5/27, 7:00 pm

More info here

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Music & Concerts

Na Mele Aloha: "Aloha Ali'i",songs about love of the Ali'i (royalty) at the Hawaiian Mission Houses Museum, Saturday,5/14/16, 5:30-8:30pm, $30 in advance, $35 at the door. More info here

“9th Annual Ladies of the 80s”, Mother's Day concert featuring Salt 'n Pepa w/ Spinderella and also starring En Vogue, Sweet Sensation & JJ Fad, Saturday, 5/7/16, 7:00 pm, Blaisdell Arena, $55-$125. More info here or call 800-745-3000 or 808-768-5252

Hawaii Symphony Orchestra presents:

"Totally 80s", Friday, 5/6/16, 7:30 pm, Blaisdell Concert Hall, $24-$79

"Brahms 4", Sunday, 5/8/16, 4:00 pm, Blaisdell Concert Hall, $34-$92

More info here or call 808-946-8742 for tickets

Hawaii Opera Theater presents “ Il Trovatore”, Friday, 5/20/16, 5/22 & 5/24, varied times, $29-$130, Blaisdell Concert Hall. See website


Tower of Power, Saturday, 5/14/16, 8:00 pm, Blaisdell Arena, $55, schedule details. R&B band


Above & Beyond: Acoustic, Tuesday, 5/31/16, 6:30 pm, Waikiki Shell in Kapiolani Park, $45-$125, details Electronic music act


Bar & Club Venues

the republikThe Republik

Appearing in May:

Blackalicious, 5/6
Kawehi, 5/7
Mija-Sick AF 2.0 Tour, 5/7
Danny Brown, 5/10
Big Tease Burlesque, 5/13
Strung Out, 5/19
Tritonai, 5/20
Leilani Wolfgramm, 5/20
R. City Performing Live, 5/21
Scandal Tour 2016 (Yello), 5/23
Collie Buddz, 5/29

See full schedule here

Oahu Events Blue Note

Blue Note Hawaii at the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort-Club specializing in a combo of jazz & local music

Appearing in May:

Mike Lewis, 5/2
Chaka Khan, May 4, 5, 7 & 8
The Hawaii Jazz All-Stars, 5/9
Stanley Jordon Trio, 5/10-5/15
Ravi Coltrane, 5/17-5/22
Andy McKee, 5/24-5/29
Honolulu Jazz Quartet featuring John Kolivas, 5/30
Christopher Cross, 5/31-6/5
Sunday Gospel Brunch -1:00 pm, Sunday afternoons


Sky Bar Waikiki (pictured above)

Rooftop bistro, nightclub & lounge. Eli Mac, Sunday, 4/24/16, hipster vibe. More info


Buho Cantina

Mexican restaurant and bar with views of Waikiki below. Good pre-going out place, hipster vibe. More info

Downbeat Diner & Lounge

Hip, late night eatery with entertainment & lots of delicious vegetarian & vegan options in the Chinatown area. See full schedule here


SURFER The Bar at Turtle Bay (north shore)

Laid bar oceanside bar featuring open mic nights, karaoke & bands. See full schedule here


Sunset Pool at The Modern Honolulu

Good place for drinks before going out or to watch the Friday night fireworks, hipster vibe. More info


Wai'olu Ocean View Lounge at The Trump

Another good place to get drinks and pupus before going out or just chill here. More info


Jazz Minds

Jazz club with live jazz music & food, learn more here


Station Bar & Lounge

Open mic nights & bands, trendy hole in the wall vibe with graffiti-inspired art on the walls. Located right by the Hawaii Convention Center on Kapiolani. Learn more here


Anna O'Brien's

Open mic nights, indie music and more, Irish bar in University of Hawaii Manoa area. More info


Nashville Waikiki

Country music and classic rock bar now located at Aloha Tower near Hooter's. More info


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Sports May Events In Hawaii

Jamba Juice Banana Man Chase May Events in Hawaii


15th Annual Jamba Juice Banana Man Chase, Saturday, 5/7/16, 7am-12:00pm in Ala Moana Park, rain or shine. Participants will be chasing life-sized bananas around the 5K course. There's also a Keiki Fun run at 7:45 am of 500 meters. $30 adults, $20 kids. See web site for more info

Great Strides Walk benefitting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Saturday, 5/28/16, 9:00 am-12:00 pm in Kapiolani Park, free. For more information visit here or call 808-282-9688


7th Annual Surf n' Sea SUP Race presented by O'Neill, Sunday, 5/29/16, 9:45 am. Downwind 4 mile race from Waimea Bay to Haleiwa beach. $35-$45 depending how early you sign up. More info here


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May Events In Hawaii-For Kids


waikiki aquariumAfternoons at the Aquarium- every Wednesday there will be “critter encounters” or a marine science craft project for families.

Automatically included with admission to the museum. 3:00-3:30 pm, for more info see here



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Ongoing May Events In Hawaii

Eat the Street Hawaii May Events in Hawaii

First Fridays-First Friday of the month that features an art gallery walk, restaurants, shops & live entertainment in the Chinatown area from 6:00pm-9:00pm but the lounges & clubs in the area stay open later. More info here and on their Facebook page here

Art After Dark-Monthly art party on the last Friday of the month at the Honolulu Museum of Art, 6:00-9:00pm. More info here


HawaiiSlam's First Thursdays Slam Poetry Competition, 8:30-11:30pm, $3 before 8:30, $5 after. $100 prize to the winner. Hosted & located at Fresh Cafe Warehouse aka “Loft in Space” in Kakaako. Also features live music, live painters, MC’s, national touring poets & DJ’s. Largest registered poetry slam in the world with over 500 attending so go early. Visit website or call 808-387-9664 for more info.


Eat the Street, Last Friday of the month, 4:00-9:00pm, at Kewalo (old Fisherman's Wharf location, 1011 Ala Moana Blvd); more info here


Street Food Stadium-Daily, 11:00 am- 10:00 pm, ongoing food truck park. Entrance is free but food costs vary. Mostly Asian-fusion type of cuisine from what I can tell. The food trucks change every 6 months-1 year. See current featured vendors & menus here. Location is 1687 Kalakaua Ave near The Hawaii Convention Center. For more info call 808-498-3212 or email

Art on the Zoo Fence-Artists hang their works on the wall fence of the Honolulu Zoo on Monsarrat Ave. Happens on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00am-4:00 pm. More info

Mai Tai Bar-Live local music most weekends at Ala Moana Shopping Center, 4th fl with acts performing in their open lanai style bar. Very popular Pau Hana style bar with locals, tourists & military alike.

Free Hawaiian cultural activities at the Royal Hawaiian Center most days such as hula, ukulele and lei making. See website for schedule details


Hula at Kuhio Beach Park daily at 6:30 pm during the spring & summer; 6:00 pm in the winter. If the weather is bad it will not be held. Get there early to get a seat.


Fireworks on the beach Friday nights at 7:45 pm in front of the Hilton Hawaiian Village

hilton hawaiian village new years eve



oahu events hulas catamaran saturdaysSaturdays-Gay friendly 90 minute catamaran cruise sponsored by Hula's, $20, purchase tickets from the bartender.

Meet at Hula's at 2:00 pm sharp or at the boat which leaves at 3:00 from in front of the Sheraton Waikiki (Mai Tai is the name of the boat).

Cruise includes a free drink.

For more info call 808-923-0669 or email info



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