Okinawan Festival 2014 preview

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Okinawan FestivalThe 32nd annual Okinawan Festival gets underway this weekend (Aug. 30-31), with a huge crowd expected to converge at Kapiolani Park for food, entertainment, crafts, a bon dance and more. The two-day event, organized by the Hawaii United Okinawa Association, typically draws about 50,000 people.

When: Saturday, Aug. 30 (starts at 9 a.m.; most food booths & tents close at 6 p.m.; Okinawa soba and andagi booths open until 8 p.m.) and Sunday, Aug. 31 (starts at 9 a.m.; craft gallery and children’s Games close at 4:30 p.m.; most food booths & tents close at 5 p.m.)

Parking: Free parking at Kapiolani Community College with $2 shuttle service to the festival. Purchase ticket at info booth. Purchase of festival pin gives unlimited free rides on the shuttle.

Entertainment: Live entertainment, including taiko, traditional Okinawan dance, sanshin, koto and karate demonstrations, at Kapiolani Park Bandstand from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; on Sunday, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Here’s the full entertainment lineup

Bon dance: 5:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday

More info: okinawanfestival.com

andagiThe food:
Andadog (a whole hotdog dipped in andagi batter and deep friend like a corndog); andagi; Champuru plate (vegetables and agedofu, stir-fried served with rice, shoyu pork and andansu miso); yakitori chicken sticks; yakitori bento; chili frank plate; Oki Dog; maki sushi; chicken nishime; Okinawa soba; pig’s feet soup; shave ice; yakisoba

How to make an Oki Dog

finished2One of the most popular festival draws is the Oki Dog, essentially a chili hot dog (with Zippy’s chili and lettuce) wrapped in a warm tortilla with shoyu pork thrown in for an Okinawan touch. At $8 each, it’s a filling treat that draws long lines every year. George Bartels, past president of the Hawaii United Okinawa Association, gave me a primer on how to make the ever-popular Oki Dog.

Scenes from the 2013 Okinawan Festival

Okinawan Festival

Of course, no trip to the Okinawan Festival would be complete without an order of andagi. Some lovely ladies slave over the hot oil to fry the delicious donuts.

Photo by Myong Choi

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