Big Island Calendar of Events

In our first edition of Hawaii The Big Island Revealed, we listed a calendar of local events for the island. It was a colossal waste of time! Things change so often in Hawaii that we couldn’t keep it current. The Web fixes that. Don’t get me wrong. Some of the events listed below will not occur or will change time or place. That’s because decisions about these things are made quite capriciously in the islands, often the day of the event. We’ll change this page daily if we have to, but you can’t bet your life on the timeliness of these events. Nonetheless, if you’re interested in attending a local event, these might be worth checking into.

On-Going Events

Volcano Art Center
at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park offers new exhibits and programs each month. Call the Center at 808-967-8222 for the current schedule or visit

Various Tuesdays
After Dark in the Park
at 7pm, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Visitor Center Auditorium. Weekly lecture series. Call 808-985-6000 for information, to confirm dates and reservations.

Tuesdays through Saturdays
Experience the world’s first 3D planetarium
“Skies Above Hawai’i” at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center at noon. “Fly out” from Earth as the planetarium operator guides the audience through various regions and structures of the Universe, based on data from the telescopes located on Maunakea. Visitors to the center can enjoy other planetarium selections as well:  the 1pm showing of Maunakea: Between Earth and Sky, 2pm showing of Awesome Light II: Seeing the Invisible, and 3pm showing of Two Small Pieces of Glass. Call 808-969-9703 or visit

Weekly Performance involving music, chants, hula, film clips — a blend of mediums to educate you about Hawaiian culture and the history at The Palace Theatre in Hilo at 11am, $5, kids free. Call 808-934-7010.

Kanikapila Jam Sessions are open to all musicians. Bring your instrument and enjoy “garage style” jamming with your neighbors and community. At Volcano Art Center, Niaulani Campus, 19-4074 Old Volcano Road. Donations appreciated. Call 808-967-8222.

Every First Saturday
Mauna Kea Visitor’s Information Station, monthly program to discuss recent observations and discoveries, 6pm, with stargazing. Limited seating, 808-961-2180.

Every Third Saturday
Aloha Saturdays at Kalakaua Park in Hilo, features performances, exhibits, demonstrations, workshops, lectures and more by Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners, scholars, musicians, hula halau and community groups. They strive to promote creative and culturally authentic programs for all.

Saturdays Closest to the Full Moon
Twilight at Kalahuipuaa 
or Talk Story as the locals call it, is a monthly gathering of kama‘aina and tourists alike that celebrates the tradition of storytelling through music, dance and spoken word. The Eva Woods Parker Cottage is a small hale (house) situated on land between the Kalahuipuaa Fishponds and the Pacific Ocean at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows. Bring beach chairs, blankets, picnic baskets and settle in for 3 hours of entertainment. Free event. Call 808-885-6622 ext. 7065.

Saturdays & Sundays–November through December
Explore Kahuku in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park
Kahuku will be open to the public for educational hikes and programs that begin at 9:30am. For a listing of hikes visit

Saturdays & Sundays
Mauna Kea Visitor’s Information Station offers free summit tours starting at 1pm. All participants in the Summit Tour must have their own 4-wheel drive transportation to the summit. Participants must be at least 16 yrs of age, not pregnant and in good health. Check their web site for other information and requirements: Visitor Information Station website.

Second Sunday of the Month
Aloha Sundays at the East Hawaii Cultural Center in Hilo on Kalakaua Street, presents a special daytime program featuring a wide variety of activities for residents and visitors featuring authentic Hawaiian cultural programming, art, student projects and entertainment. Call 808-961-5711.

One Sunday per Month
Kokua Kailua one Sunday each month Alii Drive in Historic Kailua Village becomes a festive pedestrian-only marketplace. Vendors, craftspeople and merchants. Free Hawaiian entertainment, 4pm at Hulihee Palace. Dates in 2014: Jan. 19, Feb. 16, Mar. 16, Apr. 13, May 18, June 8, July 20, Aug. 24, Sept. 21, Oct. 19, Nov. 16 and Dec. 14. Visit:

December 2014

December 20
performs Hawaiian Swing music of the 1920s and 30s, and classic Hawaiian songs in a syncopated style. 7pm-10pm at Kahilu Theatre, 67-1186 Lindsey Rd., Kamuela. Tickets are $20/$36/$46/$66. Call 808-885-6868.

December 21
Jungle Bell Beach Run – 5K & 1-Mile Runs 
encourages participation from all fitness levels and running backgrounds. 7:30am start at the Kailua Pier in Kona. Awards are given out to the top overall finishers as well as the top three best dressed Christmas costumes. Raffle prizes follow the awards. Call 808-345-6214.

December 28
16th Annual Mochi Pounding making traditional rice cakes the “old-fashioned” way. Fire building starts at 7am to steam the rice. Hearty local style lunch for $5. New years crafts, calligraphy, floral arrangements, plantation stories, Okinawan taiko drumming, Hawaiian entertainment and more. At Akiko’s Buddhist Bed & Breakfast, 29-2091 Old Mamalahoa Highway, Hakalau. Call 808-963-6422.

December 31
Rays On The Bay
at Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay will celebrate New Year’s Eve in style from 10:30pm-1:30am. Live entertainment by local musicians, pupu (appetizers), cocktails, and a midnight champagne toast under the stars. For parties of 10 or more, the Ulu Lounge at Rays on the Bay is available for VIP treatment and bottle service. Visit

January 2015

January 1-9
Waimea Ocean Film Festival
ward-winning films, breakfast talks, Q&A filmmaker sessions, artistic exhibits and receptions. At multiple venues. Visit

January 10 & 11
Return to Broadway with the Kahilu Youth Troupe
local high school musical theater students, joined by older graduates who are currently studying performing arts in college, in preparation for their own future Broadway debuts. At the Kahilu Theatre, 67-1186 Lindsey Rd., Kamuela. Tickets $30. Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 4pm. Call 808-885-6868.

January 12
Habitat for Humanity West Hawaii Golf Tourney is set for at the exclusive Club at Hokulia in Kealakekua, Hawaii. Entry Fee is $300 per player and this includes a golf shirt, continental breakfast, heavy pupu and awards ceremony. Space is limited. Call 808-331-8010.

January 16
Maisey Rika
is one of Aotearoa’s (New Zealand’s) most impressive voices. She fuses soulful vocals with honest and thought-provoking messages. She will be accompanied by her husband JJ on guitar. 7pm-10pm at the Kahilu Theatre, 67-1186 Lindsey Rd., Kamuela. Tickets $20, $36, $46, $66. Call 808-885-6868.

January 17
Hula Kahiko Performance
at the kahua hula (platform) in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This performance is presented authentically in a natural setting, rain or shine without electronic amplification. Audience members are encouraged to bring sun/rain gear and sitting mats. Park entrance fee may apply. 10:30am-11:30am. Call 808-987-7288.

January 31
Makana Tribute to Sonny Chillingworth
famed slack-key artist, Makana, presents a tribute concert and video. 7pm-10pm at the Kahilu Theatre, 67-1186 Lindsey Rd., Kamuela. Tickets $20, $36, $46, $66. Call 808-885-6868.

February 2015

February 7
Family Fun Day
in celebration of the blooming of the cherry blossoms in Waimea and honoring the age-old Japanese tradition of hanami, or “cherry blossom viewing party,” Japanese tea ceremony, origami, Japanese music and dance, arts and crafts will be on-hand. At Kahilu Theatre, 67-1186 Lindsey Rd., Kamuela. Call 808-885-6868.

February 8
Ukulele Picnic in Hawaii
free all-day event for the whole family, featuring musical performances by famous musicians from Hawaii, Japan, and other locations. The outdoor event also features ukulele workshops, hula performances, a marketplace, food booths and more. At Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows from 11am-6:30pm. Visit

February 12
Harlem Quartet is a string quartet composed of first-place laureates of the Sphinx Competition for Black and Latino string players. The Harlem Quartet’s most recent recording, Hot House, was a 2013 multi-Grammy Award winner, with compositions like “Mozart Goes Dancing.” 7pm at Kahilu Theatre, 67-1186 Lindsey Rd., Kamuela. Tickets $66, $46, $36, $20. Call 808-885-6868.

February 28
Honoka‘a Jazz Band
is the most accredited jazz band on the Big Island, led by acclaimed composer, musician, and educator Gary Washburn. 7pm-10pm at the Kahilu Theatre, 67-1186 Lindsey Rd., Kamuela. Tickets $20, $36, $46, $66. Call 808-885-6868.

March 2015

March 1
Imiloa Astronomy Center’s 9th Anniversary
the exhibit hall, planetarium experience and activities will be free and open to the public. There will be special presentations and educational exhibits by “Journey through the Universe” as well as other partners. Hands-on activities, food and fun. 9am-4pm. 600 Imiloa Pl., Hilo. Call 808-969-9714.

March 13
The Brave
combining true confessions with raw athleticism find strength through family, love, loss, fear, hope, belonging, and brotherhood. This theatrical dance performance by Massive Company of Auckland, New Zealand shows bravery defined by a new generation. 7pm-10pm at the Kahilu Theatre, 67-1186 Lindsey Rd., Kamuela. Tickets $20, $36, $46, $56. Call 808-885-6868.

March 22
Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra A Salute to Youth
features the winners of the Annual Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra Youth Concerto Competition, and also the triumphant Fifth Symphony by Tchaikovsky. 4pm-6pm at the Kahilu Theatre, 67-1186 Lindsey Rd., Kamuela. Tickets $5, $15, $25, $30. Call 808-885-6868.

April 2015

April 5-11
52nd Annual Merrie Monarch Festival
Hawaii’s most venerable hula celebration and competition with week-long festivities including exhibitions, musical entertainment, arts and crafts fairs and the Miss Aloha Hula Competition, kahiko (ancient) and auana (modern) hula competitions. There’s also a grand parade through town. Visit

April 9-11
2nd Annual Hawaii Arts, Crafts & Food Festival celebrates the artistic and cultural heritage of Hawaii’s people, food and environment and will showcase over 100 of Hawaii’s Finest Artisans. 9am-5pm at Sangha Hall, 398 Kilauea Avenue., Hilo. Call 808-981-0518.

April 25
Sean Chen, Pianist
 the Silver Award winner of the Von Cliburn Piano competition in 2013 – the only American to place in the international competition for over 30 years. This gifted pianist wins fans with his “exceptional ability to connect with an audience combined with an easy virtuosity” 7pm-10pm at the Kahilu Theatre, 67-1186 Lindsey Rd., Kamuela. Tickets $20, $36, $46, $66. Call 808-885-6868.

© 2014 Wizard Publications, Inc. | Web Development by Boxcar Studio and Astral Road Media