Karleen Chinen

This year’s Okinawan Festival is truly a gutsy endeavor — as was the move to Kapi‘olani Park back in 1990. No one knew for certain whether it would take. Or flop. But as most of us know, if we don’t try, we’ll never know. And that is why the leadership and member-clubs of the Hawaii United Okinawa Association decided to move their biggest outreach event of the year to the Hawai‘i Convention Center.

There will be some aspects of this year’s festival that you’ll love — and some that you won’t. An indoor facility cannot replicate the natural ambiance of a park. Unlike Kapi‘olani Park, where the festival was spread out on the Waikïkï end of the park, activities this year will be on two floors of the Hawai‘i Convention Center — the ground floor for the entertainment, food booths and some shopping opportunities, and the third floor — “The Mura” — for the cultural activities.

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