Greek sailors found their way to the Islands on whalers and trading vessels after 1830. Beginning in the late 1870s, some forty men from the small Mediterranean country migrated and settled on the Big Island and O‘ahu. They set up produce-growing and shipping operations, cafés, bars, rooming houses, and hotels. To a man they supported the monarchy and participated after the overthrow in the movement to restore the queen to the throne. Imprisoned and suffering business losses for these activities, they reluctantly accommodated to annexation. By World War II, some two hundred men, women, and children formed a community. Migration increased after World War II and a Greek church was established. Saints Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral is now the center of Orthodoxy in Hawaii.
Each year the small congregation of about 100 families puts on a festival of epic proportions. The purpose of the festival is to raise funds for the church and help introduce and perpetuate Greek Culture in Hawaii.
Come to the Greek Festival at McCoy Pavilion in Ala Moana Park and you’ll see why thousands of people of all ethnic backgrounds show up each year.
Enjoy the music, dancing, food, and culture and be Greek for a day…or two!