Please note that, as with any schedule of upcoming events, the following information is subject to change; always confirm the details before you plan your trip around an event.
For an exhaustive list of events beyond those listed here, check http://events.frommers.com, where you'll find a searchable, up-to-the-minute roster of what's happening in cities all over the world.
Volcom Pipeline Pro, Banzai Pipeline, North Shore. Competition is judged on the best wave selection and maneuvers on the wave. Call tel. 760/722-7777 (www.surftransworld.net). January or February.
Sony Open, Waialae Country Club. A $1.2-million PGA golf event featuring the top men in golf. Call tel. 808/792-9300. Early to mid-January.
Pacific Islands Arts Festival at Thomas Square, across from Honolulu Academy of Arts, Honolulu. More than 100 artists and handicraft artisans, entertainment, food, and demonstrations fill the day. Admission is free. Call tel. 808/696-6717. Mid-January.
Narcissus Festival, Honolulu. Taking place around the Chinese New Year, this cultural festival includes a queen pageant, cooking demonstrations, and a cultural fair. Call tel. 808/533-3181.
Sand Castle Building Contest, Kailua Beach Park. Students from the University of Hawaii School of Architecture compete against professional architects to see who can build the best, most unusual, and most outrageous sand sculpture. Call tel. 808/956-7225.
Punahou School Carnival, Punahou School, Honolulu. This event has everything you can imagine in a school carnival, from high-speed rides to homemade jellies. All proceeds go to scholarship funds for Hawaii's most prestigious high school. Call tel. 808/944-5753. Early to mid-February.
Buffalo's Big Board Classic, Makaha Beach. This contest involves traditional Hawaiian surfing, long boarding, and canoe-surfing. Call tel. 808/951-7877. Depending on surf conditions, it can be held in February or March.
St. Patrick's Day Parade, Waikiki (Fort DeRussy to Kapiolani Park), Oahu. Bagpipers, bands, clowns, and marching groups parade through the heart of Waikiki, with lots of Irish-style celebrating all day. Call tel. 808/536-4138 (O'Toole's Pub). March 17.
Prince Kuhio Day Celebrations. On this state holiday, various festivals throughout Hawaii celebrate the birth of Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole, who was born on March 26, 1871, and elected to Congress in 1902. Call tel. 808/240-6369. March 26.
Easter Sunrise Service, National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Punchbowl Crater, Honolulu. For a century, people have gathered at this famous cemetery for Easter sunrise services. Call tel. 808/532-3720. April 8, 2012.
Outrigger Canoe Season. From May to September, canoe paddlers across the state participate in outrigger canoe races nearly every weekend. Call tel. 808/383-7798, or go to www.y2kanu.com for this year's schedule of events.
Lei Day Celebrations, various locations. May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii, celebrated with lei-making contests, pageantry, arts and crafts. Call tel. 808/768-3041 or go to www.honolulu.gov/parks/programs/leiday for Oahu events. May 1.
World Fire-Knife Dance Championships & Samoa Festival, Polynesian Cultural Center, Laie. Junior and adult fire-knife dancers from around the world converge on the center for one of the most amazing performances you'll ever see. Authentic Samoan food and cultural festivities round out the fun. Call tel. 808/293-3333 or go to www.polynesianculturalcenter.com. Mid-May.
Lantern Floating Hawaii, Magic Island at Ala Moana Beach Park, Honolulu. The Shinnyo-en Temple's ceremonial floating of some 700 lanterns takes place at sunset, representing an appeal for peace and harmony. Hula and music follow the ceremony. Call tel. 808/942-1848 or go to www.lanternfloatinghawaii.com. Memorial Day weekend.
Memorial Day, National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Punchbowl Crater, Honolulu. The armed forces hold a ceremony recognizing those who died for their country, beginning at 9am. Call tel. 808/532-3720. Last Monday in May.
King Kamehameha Celebration. This state holiday (officially June 11, but celebrated on weekend closest to June 11) features a massive floral parade, hoolaulea (party), and much more. Call tel. 808/586-0333 or go to www.kamehamehadaycelebration.org. Most events in 2012 will be held June 9 to 10.
King Kamehameha Hula Competition, Neal Blaisdell Center, Honolulu. This is one of the top hula competitions in the world, with dancers from as far away as Japan. It's held the third weekend in June. Call tel. 808/586-0333 or go to www.hulacomp.com. Mid- to late June.
Fourth of July Fireworks, Desiderio and Sills Field, Schofield Barracks. A free daylong celebration, with entertainment, food, and games, ends with a spectacular fireworks show. Call tel. 808/655-0110. July 4.
Molokai to Oahu Paddleboard Race, starts on Molokai and finishes on Oahu. Some 70 participants, from an international field, journey to Molokai to compete in this 32-mile race, considered to be the world championship of long-distance paddleboard racing. The race begins at Kepuhi Beach on Molokai at 7am and finishes at Maunaloa Bay on Oahu around 12:30pm. Call tel. 808/638-8208. Mid- to late July.
Ukulele Festival, Kapiolani Park Bandstand, Waikiki. This free concert features a ukulele orchestra of some 600 students, ages 4 to 92. Hawaii's top musicians all pitch in. Call tel. 808/732-3739 or go to www.roysakuma.net. Late July.
Queen Liliuokalani Keiki Hula Competition, Neal Blaisdell Center, Honolulu. More than 500 keiki (children) representing 22 halau (hula schools) from the islands compete in this dance fest. The event is broadcast a week later on KITV-TV. Call tel. 808/521-6905. Late July.
Hawaii State Farm Fair, Bishop Museum, Honolulu. The annual state fair is a great one: It features displays of Hawaii agricultural products (including orchids), educational and cultural exhibits, entertainment, and local-style food. Call tel. 808/847-3511 or go to www.bishopmuseum.org. Late July or early August.
Transpac Yacht Race. This international yacht race is held during July in odd-numbered years only (2013, 2015, and so on). Sailors from the United States, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and Hawaii race from Long Beach to Honolulu. They then participate in a series of races around the state. Call tel. 808/944-9666 or go to www.transpacrace.com.
Duke's OceanFest Hoolaulea, Waikiki. Nine days of water-oriented competitions and festivities celebrate the life of Duke Kahanamoku. Events include the Hawaii Paddleboard Championship, the Pro Surf Longboard Contest, the International Tandem Surfing Championship, the Corona Extra Duke Volleyball Classic, a Surf Polo Tournament, and a Hawaiian luau (the luau is $60 at the door). Call tel. 808/545-4880 or go to www.dukefoundation.org. Mid-August.
Admissions Day. Hawaii became the 50th state on August 21, 1959. On the third Friday in August, the state takes a holiday (all state-related facilities are closed).
Hawaiian Slack-Key Guitar Festival Gabby Style, Queen Kapiolani Park Bandstand, Waikiki. The best of Hawaii's folk music -- slack-key guitar -- performed by the best musicians in Hawaii. It takes place from noon to 6pm and is absolutely free. Call tel. 808/226-2697 or go to www.slackkeyfestival.com. Third Sunday in August.
Aloha Festivals, various locations. Parades and other events celebrate Hawaiian culture and friendliness throughout the state. Call tel. 808/589-1771 or go to www.alohafestivals.com.
Hana Hoohiwahiwa O Kaiulani, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, Waikiki. This hotel commemorates the birthday of its namesake, Princess Victoria Kaiulani, with a week of special activities: complimentary hula lessons, lei-making, ukulele lessons, and more. The crowning touch is the Princess Kaiulani Keiki Hula Festival, which showcases performances by more than 200 keiki from halau on the island of Oahu. Admission is free. Call tel. 808/922-5811. Late October.
Hawaii International Film Festival, various locations throughout the state. This cinema festival with a cross-cultural spin features filmmakers from Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the United States. Call tel. 808/550-8457 or go to www.hiff.org. First 2 weeks in November.
Triple Crown of Surfing, North Shore. The world's top professional surfers compete in events for more than $1 million in prize money. Go to www.triplecrownofsurfing.com. Held between mid-November and mid-December, whenever conditions are best.
Festival of Lights, Honolulu Hale, Honolulu. The mayor throws the switch to light up the 40-foot-tall Norfolk pine and other trees in front of Honolulu Hale. Call tel. 808/768-4385 or go to www.hawaiiforvisitors.com. Early December.
Honolulu Marathon, Honolulu. This is one of the largest marathons in the world, with more than 30,000 competitors. Call tel. 808/734-7200 or go to www.honolulumarathon.org. Second Sunday in December.
Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu. A Pac 10 team plays a Big 12 team in this nationally televised collegiate football classic. Call tel. 808/483-2500. Christmas Eve day.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.