Every summer I think about how lucky we are to live in Hawai‘i.
There’s always surf on south shores and bright skies for daylong hikes. The weather is balmy, the oceans is warm, and everyone seems to be just a little happier.
And then there are the festivals, from Duke’s Oceanfest in Waikīkī to the dozens of bon dances at Japanese temples all over the state.
One of my favorites, though, is the annual Okinawan Festival, happening this weekend at Kapi‘olani Park.
In its 32nd year, the festival, organized by the Hawaii United Okinawa Association, celebrates all things Okinawan, from music to cultural arts.
But the real draw, at least for me, is the food.
Andagi (deep-fried doughnuts, top), champuru (shoyu pork, stir-fried veggies and luncheon meat with rice) and taco rice (exactly what it sounds like) top my list of favorites.
But the one Okinawan delight I’m desperate to try — and I can’t believe I haven’t eaten it before — is the Oki Dog, a hot dog topped with Zippy’s chili and wrapped in a soft tortilla with shredded shoyu pork and lettuce.
The only thing it needs is maybe a dollop of mayonnaise.
More than 3,000 of these culturally confused dogs are sold every year since its introduction.
I really am surprised I haven’t had one yet.
Well, I guess there’s always this weekend!
The 32nd annual Okinawan Festival, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Aug. 30 & 31 at Kapiolani Park in Waikīkī, Oʻahu. For more information, visit here.