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.
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.
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 www.imiloahawaii.org.
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
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. Remaining dates in 2013: Dec. 16. 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: www.historickailuavillage.com.
December 6 & 7
Na Makua Invitational Christmas Craft Fair with consideration given to the uniqueness, quality and craftsmanship of the product. Only quality art and crafts by Hawai‘i’s best artists and producers. At Ah Fook Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo. Friday 4pm-9pm, Saturday 9am-4pm. Call 808-966-4647.
Aloha Theater’s Best Christmas Pageant Ever Barbara Robinson’s 1982 feel-good comedy about six juvenile delinquents who come to church for the free food—and end up in a Christmas pageant. At Aloha Theater in Kainaliu. Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2:30pm. Call 808-322-9924.
Christmas in Waimea holiday events, activities, and celebrations all throughout Waimea town throughout the day from 9am-7pm. Events culminate with the annual lighted parade, starting at 5:30pm from Church Row Park to Waimea Park. The main highway through town will be closed from 5:30pm-6:45pm. Santa will be at Parker Ranch Center after the parade.
Pahoa Holiday Parade starts at 10am and goes right through Mainstreet Pahoa. Expect at least 40 local entries, including lots of kids, lots of music, unique and interesting costumed characters, maybe goats, always dogs, and of course, Santa Claus. Call 808-965-2322.
Hawaii County Band Concert plays a tapestry of seasonal works, Hawaiian pieces, overtures, movie themes and more. Mooheau Park Bandstand in downtown Hilo at noon. Call 808-961-8699.
4th annual Christmas at Hulihee Palace in the heart of downtown Kailua Village. There will be a royal holiday dinner in honor of Queen Emma, a live and silent auction, and holiday performances. 5pm-10pm. Call 808-331-8010.
Gingerbread Family Festival at Honpa Hongwanji in Hilo, 398 Kilauea Ave. $39 for Gingerbread Kits in either Sessions: Includes one gingerbread house kit, a variety of candies, white icing in a disposable pastry bag, a flat cardboard foundation & gift bag for display or storage and 4 reserved seats. Call 808-961-3081.
Kailua-Kona Christmas Parade starts at 5pm at the Kailua-Kona’s Kekuaokalani Gym, and will proceed along Kuakini down Palani, along Alii to Walua Road just past Coconut Grove MarketPlace. The parade theme this year is “Kona Kine Christmas!” Music, lights, happy times in a creative and spectacular local parade—70 entries. The parade will be supportive of Hawaii Island’s Food Basket, and parade entrants and parade attendees are encouraged to contribute what they can. Call 808-313-0025 or visit www.paradesinkona.com.
Christmas at the Fairmont over 20 top Hawaii chefs and confectioners use primarily locally sourced ingredients to prepare tantalizing cuisine—all accompanied by handcrafted ales, wines and 100 percent Kona coffee. Attendees can enjoy live jazz under the stars and an exciting live auction of exclusive, private dinner parties and receptions professionally hosted by local chefs. 5pm-10pm. Call 808-895-1967.
7th Annual Howling Holidays live music, food, activities, prizes and demos at Rainbow Friends Animal Sanctuary, 17-382 13 Mile Road, Kurtistown. 8am-noon. Visit www.rainbowfriends.org or call 808-982-5110.
Oceanside Tea at Hulihee Palace the ladies of Hulihee Palace will seat you on the picturesque lanai, overlooking the lawn and ocean. The event includes a selection of teas, a hearty array of ribbon sandwiches, scones and tasty tidbits, all served on fine china. 10am-noon. The two-hour tea is priced at $35 and includes a take-home, mini chocolate Bundt cake favor. Reservations required; limit of 20 per event. Call 808-329-9555 or visit www.daughtersofhawaii.org.
Kahilu Theatre Presents Amy Hanaialii Christmas Concert Hawaii’s top selling female vocalist of al time with all 12 of her albums in the top ten on World Billboard charts. She will be joined by her full band including Grammy award winning Jeff Peterson, Steve Jones, Darryl Pellegrini and hula dancer Kehau Nielson. Tickets $20-$64. At Kahilu Theatre in Kamuela at 7pm. Call 808-885-6868.
Hula Arts at Kilauea outdoor presentation takes place rain or shine. All events are free (donations welcome); park entrance fees apply. The audience is encouraged to bring sitting mat and sun/rain gear at 10:30am. At Hula Platform near Volcano Art Center Gallery, One Crater Rim Road, Hawaii National Park. Call 808-967-8222.
9th Annual Jingle Bell Beach Run is a 5k run or walk starting and finishing at the Kailua Pier. Additionally, there is a 1 mile keiki run. Both 5K and 1 mile are on paved surface, Alii Drive. Costumes desirable. Register and pay in advance or on site; run starts 7:30am. Register and pay fees in advance online at www.bigislandrunning.com.
16th Annual Mochi Pounding celebration in making traditional rice cakes the “old-fashioned” way. Everyone takes their turn at pounding the glutinous sticky rice for good luck. Fire building starts at 6am to steam the rice. Hearty local style lunch for $5. New Year’s crafts & calligraphy & floral arrangements, plantation stories, Okinawan taiko drumming, Hawaiian entertainment & more. In Wailea Village (Hamakua). Call 808-963-6422
Waimea Ocean Film Festival, Part 1 films made to foster awareness and understanding about the world’s oceans and island cultures. Films, presentations and speakers happen at multiple venues between Waimea, the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and the Fairmont Orchid from January 2-5, with a non-stop schedule of award-winning films and dynamic talks. Early risers can enjoy yoga on the beach, and breakfast talk sessions with filmmakers and special guests. The Waimea portion of the festival wraps up with the Taste of the Island event held at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on January 5. Call 808-854-6095 or visit www.waimeaoceanfilm.org.
Waimea Ocean Film Festival, Part 2 films made to foster awareness and understanding about the world’s oceans and island cultures. Films and speakers move to Four Seasons Resort Hualalai January 6-10. There will be films, lectures, yoga on the beach, special opportunities to meet the filmmakers, other interesting talks, with the festival closing the evening of January 10. Call 808-854-6095 or visit www.waimeaoceanfilm.org.
Mitsubishi Electric PGA Champions Tour at Hualalai Four Seasons Resort features 36-40 top golfers 50 years or older who have won Champions Tour or other PGA majors or money events in a 54-hole competition for a total purse of nearly $2 million. Call 808-325-8400.
Makana Performs at Kahilu Theatre in Kamuela. Makana’s unique blend of Hawaiian, folk and rock influences and the passion and energy of his performance engages his audience like few entertainers on the scene. $20-$64. 7pm. Call 808-885-6868.
21st Annual Waimea Cherry Blossom Festival at multiple venues throughout Waimea. Look for pink banners identifying site locations sprawling from the Parker Ranch Center on Mamalahoa Hwy. 190 to the Hawaiian Homestead Farmer’s Market on Hwy. 19. An all-day lineup of Japanese and multi-cultural performing arts, plus hands-on demonstrations of bonsai, origami, traditional tea ceremony, mochi pounding and a host of colorful craft fairs. Enjoy free shuttle transportation among most venues. 9am-3pm. Call 808-961-8706.
Hilo Chinese New Year Festival the Year of the Horse. Chinese lion dancers will roam the town, chasing evil spirits with firecrackers and blessing businesses from 9am-10am, with the festival scheduled to begin at 10am until 3pm with more lion dancing, martial arts and calligraphy demonstrations, crafts, food booths, a keiki (child) fashion show, and food tastings prepared by culinary arts students. Admission is free. Call 808-935-8850.
Heiva I Hawaii 2014 a weekend of Tahitian music, dance and culture. Workshops, beauty pageant, dance, music, food, inflatables for the keiki, competitions and crafts. Free admission to competition and Polynesian Village at Kekuaokalani Gym, 75-5500 Kuakini Hwy., Kona. Most events are from 9am-5pm daily. Visit: www.teeaoteturama.com.
14th Annual Ukulele Festival at Queens’ MarketPlace festivities include a free workshop with celebrated teacher Roy Sakuma, nonstop concerts all afternoon, instrument giveaways, Hawaiian crafts and more. Traditional ukulele masters, school groups, up-and-coming artists and top entertainers in the ukulele world will be at the festival. Call 808-886-8822.
16th Annual Lavaman Triathlon Festival features an Olympic distance 10K-run, 40K-bike and 1.5K-swim open to individuals and relay teams of all ages and abilities, plus 5-K sunset fun run March 28, Lava Kids Aquathon March 29, health and fitness expo, awards party and beach barbeque. 6:30am start. Registration and more information is online at www.lavamantriathlon.com or call 808-329-9718.