Enjoy a Lively Luau on Oahu!

By Hawaii.com Team

Luaus offer dancing, singing, plenty of laughs and lots of food. The main course is almost always kalua pig, which is a whole pig cooked in an imu, or underground oven, then unearthed with a short, traditional ceremony, shredded and served with an array of side dishes that often include sweet potatoes, poi, lomi-lomi salmon, fresh fish, macaroni salad and an array of desserts. After the food comes the entertainment, which is usually some form of Polynesian review.

That’s the typical format, but not all lu’aus are alike – not by a long shot. Backyard lu’aus, usually held to celebrate birthdays, graduations, weddings and other special events, are private parties, sometimes attended by hundreds of invited guests. Commercial lu’aus are available to anyone who buys a ticket. You’ll find them throughout the islands, some in outdoor settings, others on the grounds of resorts or restaurants. Since each has its unique signature, you might want to ask a few questions before you book a seat.

Check on the format. Will you see an international show, a Polynesian show, an authentic hula performance? Is a fire dancer part of the entertainment? How long is the bar open? Is service included in the lu’au ticket price or will you pay more after the first drink? What’s on the menu? What’s for dessert? Is transportation available? Will you pay extra for a photo? Is the luau inside or outside? What happens when it rains? Is there a cancellation or no-show policy?

Oahu offers a variety of commercial luaus, no one exactly like the other. The Polynesian Cultural Center hosts a traditional Hawaiian luau and show at its huge cultural center in La’ie. Germaine’s Luau and Paradise Cove Luau are staged at oceanfront locations. Germaine’s is near Campbell Industrial Park, and Paradise Cove, near Ko Olina. Both provide transportation from Waikiki. You’ll get all you can eat, all you can drink and great entertainment.

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