Festivals Fun For Locals, Visitors

This past Labor Day weekend saw tens of thousands of folks enjoying the annual Okinawan Festival, the largest of its kind in the state. Organized by the Hawaii United Okinawa Association, which claims an amazing 40,000 members in about 50 clubs, the event features great food, entertainment, games and, of course, a bon dance and a whole lot more.

The Okinawan Festival is just one of a host of festivals held throughout the year; it would be impossible to describe them all.

The largest are longstanding and often celebrate our ethnic heritage, such as the Filipino Fiesta, Korean Festival, Narcissus Festival and Chinese New Year festivities in Chinatown, Cherry Blossom Festival, Hawaiian Scottish Festival, Diwali Festival, Powwow, Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, Portuguese Festa, Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Parade and Rally, Greek Festival and Samoan Flag Day my apologies if I’ve missed your favorite.

And then there are events that celebrate the Hawaiian culture in myriad ways, among them the Aloha Festivals, Merrie Monarch Festival, Lei Day events, Ukulele Festival, Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival, Kaua’i Mokihana Festival, and many hula and music performances and competitions.

Sprinkled in between are food, art and music festivals; celebrations of various aspects of our history, plantation life, for example; farmers markets and agricultural and seafood festivals, and so much more.

In addition to the aforementioned weeklong Kaua’i Mokihana Festival, the Garden Island alone features a lengthy calendar of events, among them the Aloha Festivals, Powwow, Coconut Festival, Festival of Light, Waimea Roundup Rodeo, the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival-Kaua’i Style, and E Kanikapila Kakou, not to mention a wealth of performances, concerts and cultural offerings that reflect a vibrant culture and arts scene.

These events are wonderful representations of the uniqueness of the Hawaiian culture. But they’re also important elements of our No. 1 industry, tourism.

MUFI’S VISITOR HEROES
James Dugay

Position: Engineer
Location: Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas

Engineer James Dugay describes his approach to work as “positive, positive, positive,” an apt description for this important troubleshooter for the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas.

James was the one to solve the puzzle of a cloudy swimming pool when he detected the source of the problem, a filtration issue.

He was Johnny-on-the-spot, make that James-on-the-spot, when an elevator malfunctioned. He even helped guests jumpstart their rental car, using his personal vehicle for the task.

A refreshing can-do attitude and effective leadership is how the villas management summarizes his professionalism. James is an active volunteer with Relay for Life, in memory of his father who lost his battle with cancer.

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