Originally dubbed the “Windward Family Festival” in 1990, BayFest began as a community relations event to thank the military for their service, as well as to welcome the local community onto the installation to learn about the lifestyle of being a Marine. A festival style atmosphere, military static displays, carnival rides and classic rock and folk bands such as The Mamas & The Papas, America, Three Dog Night and Jefferson Starship helped solidify the event as a community favorite.
In 1992, the Windward Family Festival was renamed to BayFest due to the many activities that focused on ocean sports in Kaneohe Bay. The number of water activities has varied through the years, but the name BayFest remains a constant.
As BayFest has grown, so has the variety of music presented. Nationally-recognized bands spanning all genres of music have headlined the evening concerts: Lynyrd Skynyrd, Alan Jackson, Three Doors Down, and Black Eyed Peas, to name a few. In keeping with the festival atmosphere, BayFest is also known to feature double-headers, giving the audience the opportunity to see multiple shows at one great price.
Today, BayFest is a household name and a fixture on calendars of Oahu events. As it is open to the public, approximately half of all visitors to BayFest do not have a direct affiliation with the military. Building community relations and honoring Hawaii’s military personnel continues to be at the heart of this 22 year-old event.
BayFest is organized by Marine Corps Base Hawaii and Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS), a Department of Defense quality of life program that supports the morale, welfare and recreation of Hawaii’s Marines, Sailors, and their families. For more information, call the BayFest hotline at 808-254-7679.