The festivities begin with the pageant itself, where you won't find them dressed in swimsuits, but a classy and elegant Chinese cheong sams (which can cost around $1,000 a piece when adorned with Austrian crystals). Then in a week or two, the Coronation Ball, the most formal event of the year (the only time of the year we'd wear tuxedos instead of aloha shirts), where the newly crowned queen dances her first dance with the Governor of Hawaii or the Mayor of Honolulu. Then in the next couple of weeks, the queen and court appear all over Chinatown as the streets are all coned off and turned into a huge party.
I love going to Chinatown on the weekend nights leading up to Chinese New Year. Sure, it's nearly impossible to find parking anywhere near Chinatown, and sure it's literally wall to wall people (something akin to Time's Square in New York on New Year's Eve), but being there always makes me feel like part of something bigger, like I'm connected to all of these people celebrating their heritage. It always reminds me of those old movies, where the hero gets chased into Chinatown, and it just happens to be Chinese New Year, so the hero can slip away into the sea of people or hide under the dragon dancers, and is able to escape the villan (or vice versa). With the amount of people in Chinatown on these nights, it's actually quite believable for Hollywood.