Honolulu Fish Fry 2014

This past weekend’s fourth annual Aloha Boardshop Fish Fry was a doozy. Held at the historic birthplace of modern surfing, under the watchful eye of Duke Kahanamoku. This year’s contest featured 30 teams competing for schwag bags and bragging rights during a fun south swell . The rules are simple: surf together with your team, ride a random board based on a number you pull and have fun!

About 10 minutes before your heat begins, you pull a random number from a hat. That number is assigned to a surfboard in a stable of locally shaped fish-style surfboards. The surfboards are abstract shapes, twin fin or four fin, short, wide and weird! You never know what you’re going to get and sometimes it might not be that functional. Adding to a spontaneous time in the water.

Some teams are made up of families, friends or both making the time surfing together a fun experience instead of a competitive one. It’s a like a super session with only you and your friends in the lineup! Your goal as a team is to put up as many points as possible for waves ridden, so you want to make sure everybody on your team gets good waves and cheers each other on. The conversations between team members mid-heat is an exhilarating combination of seriousness, excitement, encouragement and laughter. Those adjectives are what surfing is all about, making the Fish Fry a special event considering that Queens is Duke Kahanamoku’s home break.

It's Time For Obon!

This month marks the beginning of the Bon Dance season in Hawaii. From July through August at Hongwanji's across the islands, families flock to dance the night away. Traditionally Obon is an annual Buddhist event for commemorating one's ancestors.

 It is believed that each year during Obon, the ancestors' spirits return to this world in order to visit their relatives. To guide the spirits, lanterns are hung in front of houses, obon dances (bon odori) are performed, graves are visited and food offerings are made at house altars and temples.

Here we dance with loved ones under the hanging lanterns donning colorful kimono and enjoying delicious saimin and andagi. The best part of the Obon season is that all are welcome and encouraged to participate - regardless of religious affiliation (and level of dance ability). Our trick is to find the best dancer in the circle and jump in next to him or her and follow what they do. Most have been dancing for years and are more than happy to show you the moves and translate the song for you. The songs and dances are fairly slow paced and easy to pick up (much slower than the Electric Slide for comparison).
So when the music begins and you hear the beat of taiko drum, jump in and don't be shy! For a full list of the Bon Dance schedule check the newspaper or online at www.Staradvertiser.com    

The Wildest Show In Honolulu

The Wildest Show in Town at the Honolulu Zoo began it’s Summer concert series last week. Every Summer for the past 20+ years the Honolulu Zoo has been opening it’s gates to the public for one of Honolulu’s most anticipated events. Every Wednesday at 4:35pm The Honolulu Zoo welcomes guests of all ages to listen to local artists playing along with the sounds of the resident animals. For a $3 donation all can come kick back and listen to local artists  perform on stage under a big banyan tree with a sunset backdrop.

There’s a coloring booth, a weekly Ukelele giveaway and a huge grassy lawn for kids to run around and dance to the music. Family and friends can be seen with their blankets and lau hala mats, plate lunches and coolers. Each concert winds down just as the sun sets below the horizon of Waikiki beach yards from the zoo entrance. It’s a truly magical time and one that shouldn’t be missed.

For more information and a schedule of this Summer’s performances go to http://www.honoluluzoo.org/wild.