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.

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
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:

April 2014

April 11
Plants of Hula: Na Mea Kanu o Ka Hula in celebration of the Merrie Monarch Festival, in which a kumu hula (hula teacher/master) and botanist team up for a cultural and scientific exploration of the plants used in hula. 9am-3pm. This event is presented by the Hawai‘i Volcanoes Institute, a program of the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, a non-profit organization. Program cost is $45 for Friends members and $65 for non-members. Students (K-12 and college with valid student ID) are $25. Non-members are welcome to join the Friends in order to get the member discount. Call 808-985-7373 or visit

April 12
Earth & Ocean Festival showcases the unique treasures of Hawaii Island through active participation in educational booths, ocean stewardship and conservation practices in Hawaii, locally made and sourced food, and live entertainment. Makaeo Pavilion, Old Kona Airport. Free admission. Call 808-329-1758 or visit

April 18-May 4
Live On Stage “Hot L Baltimore” at Aloha Theater in Kealakekua. Set in the lobby of the Hotel Baltimore, it focuses on the residents of the decaying property who are faced with eviction when the structure is condemned. Named for the hotel’s neon marquee with a burned-out letter. The play ran for 1666 performances Off Broadway and won numerous awards. Fridays and Saturdays 7:30pm, Sundays 2:30pm. Call 322-9924 or visit

April 20-26
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. Edith Kanakaole Stadium is the site of the competitions: Thurday (Miss Aloha Hula), Friday (Hula Kahiko-ancient hula), Saturday (Hula Awana, modern hula). Tickets required for competition nights and available by mail. Visit or call 808-935-9168.

April 24-26
21st Annual Hawaii Arts, Crafts & Food Festival celebrates the artistic and cultural heritage of Hawaii’s diverse people and its environment, showcasing over 100 of the finest artisans, crafters and food vendors. 9am-5pm at Sangha Hall, 398 Kilauea Ave., Hilo. 9am-5pm daily. Call 808-981-0518 or visit

May 2014

April 18-May 4
Live On Stage “Hot L Baltimore” at Aloha Theater in Kealakekua. Set in the lobby of the Hotel Baltimore, it focuses on the residents of the decaying property who are faced with eviction when the structure is condemned. Named for the hotel’s neon marquee with a burned-out letter. The play ran for 1666 performances Off Broadway and won numerous awards. Fridays and Saturdays 7:30pm, Sundays 2:30pm. Call 322-9924 or visit

May 2 & 3
3rd Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival opens with a student competition on Friday, followed by public culinary and agriculture-themed, hands-on seminars and demonstrations on Saturday. Fun culminates 6pm-10pm on Saturday with the festival gala in the Grand Ballroom of the Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i—indulge at a host of sweet and savory culinary stations presented by top isle chefs, chocolatiers and confectioners. Call 808-324-6400 or visit

May 4
May Day Brunch on the Bay brunch al fresco on Alii Drive in Historic Kailua Village. $20 per person – tickets go on sale in April. Visit or call 808-936-9202.

May 2-11
6th Annual Kau Coffee Festival ten days of visiting farms and roasters, coffee tasting and local cuisine. Hiking in a rainforest, stargazing on a flat-topped mountain. A mix of events, some free, some with a fee and advance reservations. call 808-929-9550 or visit

May 4
May Day Brunch On The Bay 
al fresco brunch on Alii Drive in Historic Kailua Village with delicious food by Historic Kailua Village restaurants. $20 per person tickets will go on sale early April. 10am-1pm. Call 808-936-9202.

May 22-26
Big Island Film Festival filmmakers and film lovers come together for the screening of brand new narrative short & feature films from Hawaii and around the world. Films day and night, workshops, social events, Hawaiian culture and music, a silent auction. At the The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii. Call 808-883-0394 or visit

May 31
Ironman 70.3 Half-Triathlon A half Ironman distance race – 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run – at the beautiful Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii Resort on the Kohala Coast. Winners may get slots in the Ironman Triathlon World Championship held in Kona in October or slots to the Ironman 70.3 Championship in Las Vegas. 6:30am. The swim is off Hapuna Beach; the bike ride goes on the northern part of the Ironman championship bike course to Hawi in North Kohala; the run is around the Mauna Lani and Fairmont Orchid golf courses and along the historic Ala Loa foot trail. There is a finishers’ banquet at the Fairmont Orchid, on the lawn. Call 808-329-0063 or visit

June 2014

June 6-8
3rd Annual Big Island Jazz & Blues Festival line-up includes performances by Grammy Award winner Skip Martin, The Iguanas from New Orleans, and saxophone legend Donald Harrison. The festival concludes with a lavish brunch at Manta Pavilion & Wine Bar, accompanied by live jazz and blues entertainment. At the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. Call 866-977-4589 or visit

June 11
King Kamehameha Day in Kohala 
Lei draping at the King Kamehameha Statue in Kapa‘au at 8am, parade from Hawi to Kapa‘au at 9am, then ho‘olaulea (celebration) in Kamehameha Park til around 4pm with hula, traditional music, local food, and arts and crafts. Call 808-557-6042 or visit

June 14-22
Kona Marathon & Family Fun Runs features four races: marathon, half marathon, 10K, 5K on Sunday, June 22. All four events start at Keauhou Shopping Center, with the marathon at 5:30am, the half marathon at 6 a.m., the 10K at 6:45am and the 5K at 6:50am. The courses go along Alii Drive, which is the road along the scenic shoreline of the Pacific Ocean, with beautiful views of crashing waves and mountains. Saturday, June 14, with fun runs, fitness expo, and more. All ages, all abilities are invited to this fun and challenging event. Visit or call 808-967-8240.

July 2014

July 4
4th of July Fireworks on Big Island can be seen at: Hilo Bay Blast at Bayfront: A day of fun, family-friendly, patriotic, and exciting activities around Hilo Bayfront. 9am-9pm (fireworks start at 8pm). Kailua-Kona: July 4 parade (5:30pm) has floats, music, keiki (kids) groups, patriotic groups, around 60 entries. Goes from Kona’s Kekuaokalani Gym (Kaiwi Street and Kuakini Highway) south on Kuakini, down Palani, and along Ali’i Drive to Coconut Grove Marketplace. The fireworks start at 8pm, and will be shot off a barge in Kailua Bay. Waikoloa Beach Resort: will host its annual Fourth of July fireworks show along with other entertainment and activities for the entire family. Festivities will begin at 10am and will last following the 8pm. fireworks until 9:30 p.m. Beach chairs and blankets are welcome but coolers are not allowed.

July 12
34th Annual Cultural Festival 
free festival, which includes hula, music, demonstrations, food, and Hawaiian crafts, runs from 10am-3pm. The Kahuku unit is in the southernmost section of the national park, and is located on the mauka (upland) side of Highway 11 at mile marker 70.5. Call 808-985-6011. 

July 18
Aloha Theater Presents: Annie Jr. based on the comic strip Little Orphan Annie, streamlined and musically adjusted to suit young voices. The actors will range from 6 to 18. Fridays and Saturdays 7:30, Sundays 2:30 at Aloha Theater in Kainaliu. Kainaliu is just 8 miles south of Kailua-Kona. Call 808-322-9924 or visit

July 25-27
Tahiti Fete of Hilo Dance Competition Extravaganza. This spectacular event features the dances and music of Tahiti and other Polynesian Islands. Craft vendors, local food and Tahitian Dance and Music Workshops will also be featured. 10am-6pm at Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium, 323 Manono St. Call 808-935-3002.

July 26-August 2
55th Annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament Kailua Pier is a great place to watch the iconic Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament start each morning at 7:30am as boats line up across Historic Kailua Bay. Spectators can expect to see lots of scoreboard action as teams weigh in their big fish at the end of fishing each day at 4:30pm. Visit

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