Residents and Military Receive Special $5 Admission All Day

Honolulu, HI – Bring your family and friends and spend the day exploring the life, legacy, and values of Hawai‘i’s legendary Duke Paoa Kahanamoku at Bishop Museum. “A Day with Duke” will be held Sunday, Nov. 8 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and will feature live music from Mike Love, Maunalua, Kailua Bay Buddies, and Men in Grey Suits, plus special film screenings, fun educational activities, community organizations, and an array of Hawaiʻi food trucks.

Central to this special event is the Duke Paoa Kahanamoku exhibit in the J. M. Long Gallery. The exhibit has been well received, so much so, that it has been extended through Feb. 28, 2016. This original exhibit illuminates the many facets of Duke as an Olympian, surfer, ocean hero, movie star, ambassador of aloha, and family man. His simple beginnings, island heritage, international fame, and lasting legacy are explored with a unique collection of archival video and photographs, objects from his life, and fun activities that allow visitors to surf and play with one of Hawai‘i’s greatest native sons. Visitors can take control of a replica of Duke’s surfboard to reenact his legendary 1917 ride in a 3D video game environment, allowing them to experience how Duke rode a towering wave for more than a mile at Waikīkī on a finless board. The exhibit also has a “Race Duke” swimming interactive where visitors will try to replicate Duke’s 1920 Olympic record time in the men’s 100 meter freestyle by using a table-top upper body pedal exerciser. Exhibit designer Michael Wilson will also be available to talk story.

At “A Day with Duke,” museum goers can also experience a “Surfing through the Ages” presentation in Hawaiian Hall which will focus on the importance of the sea in traditional Hawaiian life. The tour will cover surfing stories of ali‘i and important events of modern Hawaiian history during Duke’s life, from the overthrow of the Monarchy to the Hawaiian Renaissance. Additionally, visitors can learn about the science of waves, view the planetarium show “Wayfinders,” a visual story about Hōkūle‘a’s Worldwide Voyage, and meet with the caretakers of Bishop Museum’s marine-related collections to view amazing scientific specimens.

In partnership with the University of Hawai‘i John A. Burns School of Medicine, Outrigger Canoe Club, and Hawaii News Now, special film screenings will be held in Atherton Hālau at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.

  • DUKE KAHANAMOKU: Hawai‘i’s Soul at 10 a.m. chronicles the life and times of Hawai‘i’s iconic waterman. Produced by Phil Arnone and Robert Pennybacker and narrated by the late Bob Sevey.  A Hawaii News Now Production.
  • KAHANAMOKU: A Legacy of Healing at 11 a.m. documents the lives and stories of a dozen Kahanamoku scholars throughout the state of Hawaiʻi. Written and produced by Emme Tomimbang Burns, EMME Inc. and Robert Pennybacker. Duke’s widow Nadine Kahanamoku gifted their remaining assets upon her death to the John A. Burns Medical School to provide scholarships to Native Hawaiian students interested in the field of medicine. For fifteen years, more than 80 scholars have graduated or were supported for one to four years at the medical school. Many of them came from underserved communities and have gone back to serve those very communities. This special was made possible by the late Wayne M. Corn who wanted these stories told.

To complement “A Day with Duke,” visitors can enjoy a special presentation by Bishop Museum’s own cultural educator Moses Goods as he takes on the persona of Hawai‘i’s beloved athlete and grandfather of modern surfing, Duke Paoa Kahanamoku. Hear a mele inoa (name chant) for Duke,

as well as an excerpt from Goods’ current Honolulu Theatre for Youth production, simply entitled “Duke” at 1 p.m. in the Atrium. Guests can enter to win tickets to the play for a family of four in Shop Pacifica.

Admission prices for “A Day with Duke” Family Day are as follows: Bishop Museum members and children age 3 and under are free; kama‘āina and military are $5 per person all day (Valid I.D. required). General admission applies to non-residents.

Admission for “A Day with Duke also includes access to Bishop Museum’s current exhibit Duke Paoa Kahanamokuin the J. M. Long Gallery, the World of WearableArt™ (WOW®) exhibit in the Castle Memorial Building, permanent collections, and the state-of-the-art J. Watumull Planetarium. For more information visit, call (808) 847-3511, or email

“A Day with Duke” and the Duke Paoa Kahanamoku exhibit were made possible by the Ward Village Foundation.

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