Four professional soccer teams from three continents battle for international soccer supremacy during the inaugural Hawaiian Islands Invitational. During the tournament's opening game, Korea's Busan I'Park attempts to corral the dangerous midfield of Melbourne Heart FC, led by former MLS standout and Brazil native Fred, who staggers defenses with prolific playmaking and sparklers attached to his cleats. Thursday's second matchup between Yokohama FC and 2010 MLS champion Colorado Rapids entices uproarious chants from the crowd as legendary Japanese striker Kazuyoshi "Kazu" Miura vaults headers into the airspace of American goalie Matt Pickens. On Saturday, the first-round victors will face off for bragging rights as tournament champions, and the consolation game awards third-place finishers and sentences losers to a year of peeling potatoes and freshly picked soccer balls.
One of Hawaii’s most expansive block parties delivers thunderous beats and intoxicating rhythms from more than two dozen musical acts sprawled across three venues. After checking in at Gordon Biersch, Groupon holders can bop between three Aloha Tower alehouses, sampling sonic entertainment at harborside spots such as Don Ho’s and The Waterfront. Tunesmiths drum out reggae and island rhythms from the plateau of four stages, while DJs spin house, hip-hop, and disco remixes of Ezra Pound’s The Cantos. Join Positive Motion for a celebratory spin at their CD-release party or float away on the eddies of Tribal Seeds' beguiling reggae-infused roots rock.
Fire dancers, fireworks, skydivers, and all-night tunes can only mean one thing—it’s the New Year’s Eve “Party of the Year.” Divided into different zones, the party offers more than 10 live bands—including legendary Polynesian artist Fiji—and DJs that pump out hits throughout the evening. Partiers enjoy entertainment such as food trucks, a beer garden, an LED ferris wheel, and a laser-lights show. Hourly fireworks shows lead up to the big finish, a $25K display set to help ring in the new year at midnight. The official Vans Triple Crown wrap-up party includes after-hours partying with pro surfers and the Red Bull Air Force skydivers, on hand after a thrilling display of jumps mid-party.
ProElite MMA pits some of the world's most renowned fighters against each other during impassioned, high-intensity MMA matches. Headlining the main card on January 21, middleweight Japanese fan favorite Ikuhisa “The Punk” Minowa (51-32-8) takes on towering Hawaii native Kendall “Da Spyder” Grove (13–9), who, at ProElite's last Hawaiian event in August, 2011, sent established MMA star Joe "Diesel" Riggs to the floor just 59 seconds into the first round by claiming that he'd lost a contact. Heavyweight Ryan Martinez (6-1), who previously took down undefeated NCAA heavyweight Mark Ellis, will square off with Illinois native Cody Griffin (5-2), and Jake "The Honey Bear" Heun (2-1), formerly a linebacker at the University of Hawaii, will put beehives on his fists before sparring with Richard "The Black Eagle" Odoms (6-0), a San Antonio police officer. In the Bantamweight bout, Sara McMann (4-1), the first American woman to snag a silver Olympic medal for arm wrestling, faces off against Tokyo native Hitomi Akano (1-0).
The instructors at Hawaii State Ballet aspire to give their students the best possible training in all areas of dance. And they've achieved that goal many times over, thanks to the Junior Company, whose alumni have gone on to dance for the Joffrey Ballet, the American Ballet Theatre, and Ballet West.
The dedicated staff guides students from soft shoes to toe shoes, starting with imaginative classes for 3-year-olds. They also teach adult classes, and branch out from ballet to teach modern dance, Pilates, and advanced Hokey Pokey.