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Regardless of when you visit, Oahu welcomes visitors with a mother lode of mainstream and off-the-radar diversions. Coming soon: everything from endurance sports and foodie fetes to art celebrations in distinctive settings.
Culinary:Waikiki SPAM JamSince hitting market shelves in 1937, Hormel Foods’ canned luncheon meat has evolved into a Hawaii culinary staple. On April 29, the 15th Annual Waikiki Spam Jam (spamjamhawaii.com) will pay homage to this versatile ingredient via creative nosh such as Korean Spam street tacos, barbecue Spam sliders, Spam mac ’n’ cheese, Mongolian Spam poke bowls and tempura Spam fries. Live entertainment serves as dessert.
Art:Art on the Zoo FenceFar from your typical gallery, Art on the Zoo Fence (artonthezoofence.com) turns a small stretch of Monsarrat Avenue into a colorful showcase of works presented outside beneath massive banyan trees. On Saturdays and Sundays across from Kapiolani Bandstand, those into 2-D works can chat with artists selling photography and oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings. All the artwork reflects the artists’ unique interpretations of Hawaii’s magic.
Shopping:Pa‘akai Marketplace at SALTOn the third Friday of each month, SALT at Our Kakaako (saltatkakaako.com) nods to native Hawaiian culture with its festive Pa`akai Marketplace. Both a celebration and a spotlight, the monthly series embraces artists, crafters and traditional cultural practitioners selling their distinctive creations. The hip urban community further fuels the festive mood with the SALT Bar Crawl that satiates until 2 a.m.
Event:Hapalua Half MarathonSome 10,000 locals and visitors will pound the pavement from Waikiki through downtown Honolulu and back to Kapiolani Park in the 6th Annual Hapalua Half Marathon (thehapalua.com). Set for April 9, the 13.1-mile jaunt rewards die-hard runners with finisher bling, post-race entertainment and carbo-laden treats including shave ice and "malasadas" (fried dough). Whether participating or hanging loose along the route, prepare for a Hawaiian-style rush.
Insider Tip:“Our goal is to provide a race that is beautiful in every way. From the scenery along the carefully chosen route to the local partners and overwhelming community support, this event really showcases all the aloha of Hawaii.” — Dr. Jim Barahal, President, Hapalua Half Marathon