Asian Fest at Queens’ MarketPlace Celebrates Year of the Monkey

Sound, color, tasty food and the feeling of excitement celebrate the Year of the Monkey at Queens’ MarketPlace, Friday, February 5. The free event kicks off at 5 p.m. with the thundering drums of Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko (RMD), and continues until 8 p.m., with 14 different food sample booths, Filipino dancers, a dynamic Lion Dance, and much more.

Asian Fest2

A natural prelude to Saturday’s 23rd Annual Waimea Heritage Cherry Blossom Festival, Asian Fest is a unique way to experience and enjoy the music, cuisine and customs of China, Japan, Okinawa, Philippines, Thailand and other Asian cultures.

Taiko drum fans will have a chance to feel the rhythm of three different styles of the booming drummers. RMD’s style combines traditional Eisa and Karate forms with contemporary music and movement, performed by chapters across Hawai’i and around the world. Kona Daifukuji Taiko is a youth group which started in 1988 and now has 17 members of multi-ethnic backgrounds. From Hilo, Taishoji Taiko’s home base is a Zen Temple founded in 1915, and with a new and young energectic leader they have developed their own style of drumming.

Asian Fest

A centuries-old tradition with a flashy, upbeat energy, the Chinese Lion Dancers perform acrobatic feats and leaps, interacting with the audience and parading through Queens’ MarketPlace from door to door. Participants young and old can “feed” the Lion small donations in red envelopes called lycee (provided) to bring good fortune in the year ahead.

Throughout the shopping center, food samples will be available (while they last) from Charley’s Thai Cuisine, Hilton Waikoloa Village, Ippy’s Hawaiian BBQ, Island Gourmet Markets, Lemongrass Express, Marble Slab Creamery and Paradise Pizza & Grill, Sansei Seafood, Steak and Sushi Bar, Starbucks, Sushi Shiono’s, Waikoloa Beach Marriott, Roy’s Waikoloa, Mai Grille, Tropics Ale House and Dairy Queen.

Asian Fest is a complimentary event provided by Queens’ MarketPlace and its businesses as a celebratory start to the new lunar year. For more information, please call 886-8822 or visit

Asian Fest Entertainment Schedule:

  • 5:00     Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko
  • 5:55     Hawaii Lion Dance Association
  • 6:30     Kona Daifukuji Taiko
  • 7:00     Visayan Dance Group, Filipino Dancers from University of Hilo
  • 7:20     Lion Dance begins at Island Gourmet Markets and proceeds door to door
  • 7:30     Taishoji Taiko

Since it opened in 2007, Queens’ MarketPlace in Waikoloa Beach Resort has earned a reputation among visitors and kama‘āina as “the gathering place of the Kohala Coast,” full of shopping opportunities, services and great food, along with entertainment and arts programs, movies under the stars and large-scale concerts in Waikoloa Bowl at Queens’ Gardens. For more information, visit or call 886-8822.

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