When you think of Hawaii, it is most often the beaches, volcanoes and the hula that come to mind, but what a lot of people don’t know is that Hawaii has a thriving arts community. From theater, to dance, to a host of unique galleries, Hawaii offers its visitors much more than a few days at the beach.
In order to make the most of a Hawaii vacation, we encourage visitors to take advantage of some of the vibrant festivals and activities offered throughout the islands and if the idea of combining the arts with a big old block party appeals to you; Honolulu’s First Friday event in historic Chinatown is for you!
Started in 2003, the First Friday Festival was part of a larger effort to breathe new life in to the Chinatown area, which has now become a thriving arts community. On the first Friday of each month, the galleries extend their hours and invite visitors to participate in the gallery walk. First Friday patrons can take in the paintings, sculptures, and photographs of some of Hawaii’s most talented artists. There is even a gallery map available to help you find your way around. The two that you don’t want to miss are the Louis Pohl and Pegge Hopper galleries. You’ve likely seen the works of these well known artists and we’ve chronicled both here on our blog.
Various shops, cafes, restaurants and trendy bars dot the landscape between the galleries and they can always be counted upon to offer up some great First Friday specials! The galleries close their doors at 9 PM and the block party begins. It is then that Chinatown really comes to life! Because it has cemented its status as the “place to be”, finding parking can be tricky as the hipsters of Hawaii descend upon the area and stay until last call. If the clubs and bars aren’t your scene, the variety of musicians and street performers that come to entertain and mingle with the crowd just might be.
Whether you go for the art, or just for the nightlife, the First Friday event is a definite must if your Hawaii vacation brings you here at the beginning of the month. For more information, visit the First Friday website here: http://www.firstfridayhawaii.com
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