January Event Picks

Sunset Hawaii-Lei Culture events

Don’t know what to do once you’ve stepped off the plane and fully enjoyed the scenery? We’ve got you covered with a diverse list of events all through January.

Image by Anna Harmon


Waimea Ocean Film Festival  | South Kohala Coast (Big Island)  | January 1-9

Offering a breathtaking lineup of films, special guests, intimate coffee talks, Q&As, exhibits, receptions and morning activities, running non-stop.



The Barefoot Beach Café | 2699 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu (O’ahu)  | Every Saturday, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Chris Salvador plays live music every Saturday night from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Order a simple plate lunch, gaze out at Queens Beach, and listen to live tunes. What’s more blissful than that? (If your Saturday is booked, there is also live music every day but Monday at the same time).



Makawao Third Friday Town Party | Baldwin Ave. and Makawao Ave., Makawao (Maui)| January 16, 5 – 8 p.m.  | Free

We recommend getting out and enjoying the sights and sounds of Makawao right at that golden hour around 6 p.m., as the sun sets. There will be food, ukulele tunes, and face painting (for the kids, of course …).



“Whale”abration | Ma’alaea Harbor, aboard the Ocean Odyssey (Maui) | Jan 17, 2:30 – 5 p.m.  | $45

An LGBT cruise & whale watch tour with music, raffle prizes, socializing and tons of whales posing for photos, of course. On-board snacks and drinks will be available for purchase from the Pacific Whale Foundation.



Dream Weekend at The Republik | 1349 Kapiolani Blvd., Honolulu (Oahu) | Jan 17 and 18, 5:30 pm

Party the long weekend away with back-to-back electronic music concerts at The Republik. On Saturday night, Canadian duo Adventure Club takes the stage, and on Sunday, Miami-born DJ Borgeous will close out your weekend with his high-energy music.



Hulihe`e Palace Concert | Kailua Village; Hulihe’e Palace lawn, Kailua-Kona (Hawai’i Island) | January 18. 4 p.m.

Bring your own beach mat or chair and post up on the palace’s south lawn, where you can take in Hawaiian music by the Hawai’i County Band, accompanied with kahiko hula by kumu Etua Lopes’ Na Pua U`i O Hawai`i hula halau (hula troupe).



Shanghai Circus | Neil S. Blaisdell Concert Hall, Honolulu (Oahu), Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall, Lihue (Kauai) | January 16 (Kauai), January 17 and 18 (Oahu) | $5 for children, $25 general admission

Acrobatics, juggling, contortion—the 2015 Shanghai Circus will showcase breathtaking, gravity-defying, and spectacular feats on two Hawaii stages with humor, tradition, and grace.



Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Parade and Unity Rally | Magic Island to Kapi‘olani Park (Oahu) | January 19, 9 a.m

Honor Martin Luther King Jr. in Honolulu with a parade from Magic Island to Kapiolani Park, then a unity rally to follow.



Rainbow Dine Out  | Rock and Brews, 120 Hana Hwy., Paia (Maui) | January 20, 6 – 8 p.m.

Gather with the Maui LGBT community and enjoy traditional American and locally inspired fare at this restaurant and bar along the beach in historic town.



An Evening with Yo-yo Ma | Maui Arts & Community Center | January 22, 7:30 p.m., $55-$250

This cellist may have made his first impression on your brain years, even a decade ago, but that doesn’t make the sound of his amazing talent any less sweet.



GirlBoiGrrl Winter Prom | Hula’s Bar and Lei Stand  | January 23, 10:30 p.m. | $15 advance, $20 door

Dress up in your finest attire (prom royalty will be crowned!) and get down at this gender-bending gala. Glitter, gloves, and glamour will shine alongside a variety show of some of Hawai’i’s best drag, dance, and burlesque performances including drag by Rhonda Corner and Kama Lectra, burlesque performances by Lola Love & Miss Catwings, dance by The Aphrodisiacs, and hosting by the handsome Hunter Down.



Halau Kamaluokaleihulu:  E Kaulele Aʻe (“To Take Flight”) | Maui Arts and Community Center, 1 Cameron Way, Kahului (Maui) | January 24, 6 p.m. | $27

The halau will share the stage with 2014 Nā Hoku Hanohano female & male vocalists of the year, Hulu Lindsey and Kamaka Kukona, as well as the nominated most promising artists, Kaiholu, and the newest and most quickest moving music sensation, Hu’ewa.



The Drag Games | Hula’s Bar and Lei Stand | January 29, 10:30 p.m.

“May the odds be ever in your favor & your wig,” is the slogan of this Hunger Games-inspired gathering with drag performances hosted by Cocoa Chandelier. Attendees will cheer on their favorite district (from Chinatown to Ewa Beach).



“The Whole Coffee” Special Wine Tasting | Daylight Mind Coffee Company, KAILUA-KONA (Hawaii Island) | January 30, 6:30 p.m. | $130, $230 with wine pairing

Imagine it—coffee chaff roast duck, a reverse macchiato, opakapaka and coffee cherry—a foodie and coffee fanatic’s delight. This is what Daylight Mind’s executive chef created with his tasting menu that uses every part of the coffee cherry, including the fruit, mucilage, and chaff. Special guest Harvey Steiman, editor-at-large of Wine Spectator magazine, will even be organizing the wine pairing for the meal.



‘Iolani Luahine Hula Festival | Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay, Keauhou, Kona (Hawai‘i Island) | January 30 and 31, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Hula is a dance that tells a story through its movements, and it is perpetuated by halau (hula troupes) around the islands and abroad. The `Iolani Luahine Festival was established in 2003 with a vision to perpetuate the art of this dance, and during this weekend event, you will be dazzled by the dedication of its dancers, as well as the talent of local musicians and artisans.



Eleventh Annual Kona Surf Film Festival | King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, (Hawaii Island) | January 30 and 31, 5 – 10 p.m.

Surfers, brah. They get the ocean. They revel in its color, in its power, in its awe-inducing waves. Get a taste of their passion without saddling your own board with the Kona Surf Film Festival, a grassroots exhibition of stunning surf films from around the world.



Kapa‘a Farmers Market | Kapa‘a New Town Park, roundabout at Kahau Rd., Kapa‘a (Kaua‘i) | Wednesdays, 3 p.m.

One underappreciated thing about Hawai‘i outside of the islands is the amazing bounty and diversity of produce grown. That’s because it’s thoroughly appreciated at home, of course. Get a taste of Hawai‘i’s greens and colorful fruits, or buy a bouquet of ginger blossom or an orchid for your partner, at this farmers market in Kapa‘a. (Note: If you can’t make it to this one, or are on a different island, don’t stress. There is a bounty of farmers markets around Hawai‘i.)


Comments are closed.