Kauai may be a small island, but there’s a lot happening here. The community-oriented locals leave no stone unturned when there’s an opportunity to celebrate. Kauai’s rich cultural heritage combined with the enthusiasm of local folks has birthed several events on the island.
Kauai proudly offers a variety of events and festivals where you’ll often find local musicians and entertainment, delicious food, cultural displays, and fun activities.
To ensure that you don’t miss them, we have compiled a list of 5 events in Kauai to look for during your next visit to the Garden Isle.
5 Events in Kauai You Shouldn’t Miss
1. Waimea Town Celebration (February)
Looking for an extensive cultural festival around Waimea? Waimea Town celebration is your answer. This is Kauai’s oldest and largest annual festival. Starting on President’s Day (or the weekend before), WTC goes on for a period of 9 days.
Waimea Town Celebration kicks in every year with a spirit to unite communities and bring several non-profits together for fundraising opportunities. WTC hosts several sporting events like canoe racing, basketball, standup paddle run, and marathons. You can also visit the Waimea visitor center and get a glimpse of cultural exhibits of the region.
The festival hosts a grand finale at the old mill site for continuous live and free entertainment, ono loco food, beer garden, and fun rides. Watch out for the Friday night party with Hawaiian music as it is bound to blow you away.
2. Prince Kuhio Celebration (March)
This event is celebrated every year to honor Kauai’s native son Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Piikoi. Kauai’s beloved Prince Kuhio was instrumental in sponsoring the bill calling for Hawaiian statehood. He was also responsible for the Hawaiian State Commission Act which enabled native Hawaiians to have homes on their native land.
Prince Kuhio day is marked as a state holiday and most businesses are closed on this day, including the city transportation which operates on a holiday schedule.
Prince Kuhio Celebration takes place on the Poipu beach coastline. For two weeks, you’ll find everything from parades to craft fairs, canoe races, educational events, and cultural demonstrations in an attempt to remember and honor Prince Kuhio.
3. Koloa Plantation Days (July)
Kauai has a deep bond with plantations. Back in its heyday, Kauai’s plantations formed its economic backbone and gave employment to thousands of locals and immigrants. Koloa plantation was Kauai’s first sugar plantation that brought together people from different cultures.
To remember the heritage of the plantation era and modern Koloa, the town comes to life every July, for two weeks, for one of Kauai’s greatest events — Koloa Plantation Days.
The event brings together locals and visitors at over 30 free and low-cost events including live music, “Talk Stories”, area hikes, craft fairs, Koloa Plantation Days Rodeo, cultural and historic exhibits, family and Keiki activities, and an Annual Parade. The list is extensive and there’s a lot to experience at this event in Kauai. Mark your attendance if you are around as you’ll not only enjoy the celebrations but also get to understand Kauai like never before.
4. Kauai Mokihana Festival (September)
This is a week-long celebration that happens in Kauai every year. If you want to lean into the island’s beautiful culture and tradition, attending this event is a no-brainer.
Every September, the garden Isle comes together for a week with educational lectures, music, and hula competitions. Each day the venue and event are different, which makes Mokihana Festival a giant event brought together by several smaller ones.
Apart from enjoying the celebration, being a part of the Kauai Mokihana Festival is an opportunity to explore the island’s historically important places like the Kauai War Memorial, Wailua heritage trail, and Waimea Theatre.
5. Coconut Festival (October)
Every year on the 1st weekend of October, The Kapaa Business Association organizes this unique festival. The venue shouldn’t come as a surprise as Kauai’s east shore is popularly called the Royal Coconut Coast of Kauai.
As you have rightly guessed by the name, the festival is all about coconuts. It has cooking demonstrations, Keiki competitions, music and dance, cultural displays, tree climbing experience, shopping locally made crafts and products and much more. Also, this is when you’ll get to taste some of Kauai’s tastiest delicacies, made of coconuts of course.
This Coconut Festival is organised with a purpose to promote, preserve and enhance the quality of life and business along the Royal Coconut Coast. Right after the event on Saturday, Kapaa hosts the “Art Walk” on the first Sunday of the month. We are sure you’ll have a great time on this part of the island.
Most of these events in Kauai are organized during the tourist season. If you happen to be around during any of these events, we suggest that you play with your itinerary to make space for them. This way you’ll take back much more than what you came for.
Have a great time on our beloved Garden Isle.
5 Events in Kauai You Shouldn’t Miss [Infographic]