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Thousands are expected to gather for the annual Mō'ili'ili Summer Fest featuring Honolulu's biggest bon dance! KS partnered with Mō'ili'ili businesses and community organizations to sponsor the fest which highlights the cultural diversity, history and businesses of Mō'ili'ili.

Mō‘ili‘ili Summer Fest to return with food, entertainment and shopping

June 23, 2017

Contributed by Mae Nishimura

Summer is finally here and with it comes Obon season! Break out your favorite kimono and brush up on those odori moves because the highly-anticipated Mōʻiliʻili Summer Fest is happening on Saturday, July 1, from 5-10 p.m. at the former Varsity Theatre parking lot, located on KS land.

The free summer fest is a modern street festival combined with Honolulu’s largest bon dance aimed at highlighting the cultural diversity, history, and businesses of Mōʻiliʻili.

So get ready to dance the night away and to chow down on food from dozens of local vendors. The event will also feature retail pop-ups and numerous activities for the keiki.

Stop by the Kamehameha Schools booth and pick up some fresh produce, smoothies or fresh planter boxes from Kawailoa Farms in Punaluʻu Ahupuaʻa Farms. While you’re there, be sure to also stop by Otsuji Farm and tantalize your taste buds with their popular farm-fresh food items. The tent will also offer a polymer science craft activity for keiki hosted by Hālau ʻĪnana and Chaminade University, KS educational partners.

“A collaborative event like the Mōʻiliʻilli Summer Fest is the perfect example of integrating learning with community and local culture,” said Michelle Swartman, KS Commercial Real Estate Planning and Development manager. “It’s not only a fun event but also an opportunity to share new ideas and information. Hālau ʻĪnana, Chaminade, Kawailoa Farms and Otsuji Farm are all happy to be part of an event that fosters education and community, all within the rich historical backdrop of Mōʻiliʻili.”

Kamehameha Schools has partnered with the Mōʻiliʻili Hongwanji Mission, Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaiʻi, Mō‘ili‘ili Community Center, Mō‘ili‘ili Neighborhood Board, and the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa to bring forth this annual event.

Free parking will be available in the UH music and law school parking lots along with the top floor of the main UH structure. At the guard booth, tell them you are parking for the Mōʻiliʻili Summer Fest.

Free shuttle service will also be available from UH to the event site, and back from 4:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Guests are encouraged to share photos of their food, dance and fun on social media using the hashtag #MoiliiliSummerFest by taking advantage of free Wi-Fi from TWC.

Chayla Nakamoto, who contributed this story, is a 2014 Kamehameha Schools Kapālama graduate serving as a communications intern with the Communications Group. She is a senior attending the University of Southern California where she will complete her bachelor of arts degree in English and is currently considering career options in publishing.

Mō‘ili‘ili Summer Fest

Saturday July 1
5:00 – 10:00 p.m.

1100 University Ave.
The former Varsity Theatre parking lot

Free parking and shuttle service will be available from University of Hawai’i at Manoa to the event site and back from 4:00 – 10:30 p.m.

For more information please visit

Mō'ili'ili Summer Fest is slated for Saturday, July 1 from 5 to 10 p.m. at the former Varsity Theatre parking lot.

Keiki can enjoy a myriad of activities like catching goldfish as part of the kingyo sukui game.

Mō'ili'ili Summer Fest will feature local food, retail pop-ups, cultural entertainment, and activities for the keiki.

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