Hawaii: In Real Life ~ Ukulele Picnic 2016

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From left: Baba Alimoot, Jody Kamisato, me and Chris Kamaka.

This weekend is the eighth annual Ukulele Picnic in Hawaii, full of musical events featuring some of the biggest ukulele stars in the world (most of whom hail from Hawaii, of course). If you love music, or are just looking for some family-friendly activities, this is definitely an alternative to joining the frenzy for Valentine’s Day.

The activities start on Friday, Feb. 12, with a benefit concert for the Hawaii Ukulele Museum from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Hawaii Prince Hotel. Tickets are $48 in advance, $55 at the door and include pupus and one drink.

On Saturday, Feb. 13 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Royal Hawaiian Center, you can watch finalists in the international ukulele contest and take in a hula show. Admission is free.

The big event is on Sunday, Feb. 14, from 9 a.m. until about 6 p.m. at Kakaako Waterfront Park. Admission is free, and this is the best deal for the chance to watch various popular ukulele players like Taimane Gardner, Kalei Gamiao, Kris Fuchigami, Herb Ohta Jr., Raiatea Helm, Robi Kahakalau and more from around the world.

I got to talk story with two of the acts, Jody Kamisato and Hema Pa’a (a duo of Chris Kamaka and Baba Alimoot), both of whom will be playing on Sunday.

But wait, there’s more! These guys are so good, we handed them plastic ukuleles and had them play something on the fly. Good fun! To see more of our conversation and the ukulele challenge, visit HawaiiIRL.com.

Ukulele Picnic in Hawaii
Feb. 12, 13 and 14
www.UkulelePicnicInHawaii.org