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
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:

August 2014

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

August 16
Our Night Out Kona
will feature Hawaiian-made crafts, food, skateboard half pipe, Kona Brewing Company beer garden, live music and more. Funds raised at Ono Kona go to support Mele Murals, who encourages leadership and storytelling in youth by giving them a platform to create art that’s deeply connected to the history of Hawai‘i. The talented team of artists will be led by Estria and John “Prime” Hina of 808 Urban, who will be painting a live mural on 4×8 boards to then be placed on the Makai Building within the Brewery Block. 6pm-11pm at Kona Brewing headquarters. Call 808-334-2739.

August 23
Na Mea Hula in conjunction with the Hula Kahiko performances, Loke Kamanu and ohana will share a variety of instruments, implements and lei styles that play an integral role in the life of the hula practitioner. This memorable demonstration is hands-on and family friendly. 9:30am-1:30pm at Volcano Art Center Gallery. Call 808-987-8222.

August 23
Hula Kahiko performance
 in a one-of-a-kind outdoor setting at the kahua hula (platform) in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Presented authentically in a natural setting, rain or shine. Audience members are encouraged to bring sun/rain gear and sitting mats. 10:30am-11:30am. Call 808-987-7288.

August 27
Hanohano o Kona: Kona’s Scenic Byways free lecture on the subject of Hawaii’s Scenic Byways, specifically Alii Drive and Mamalahoa Highway. 5:30pm-7pm at West Hawaii Civic Center, 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Hwy, Kailua-Kona. Call 808-323-3222.

August 29
Hawaii Food & Wine Festival more than 80 internationally-renowned chefs and culinary personalities from around the globe gathering on Maui, Oahu, and Hawaii Island for an unforgettable two weeks of food and wine experiences. At Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. Visit

August 31
22nd Annual Slack Key Guitar Festival—Kona Style a 6 hour live music festival that features some of Hawaii’s finest artists/musicians in the slack key guitar genre. 4pm-9pm at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa. $10 admission at the door. Call 808-226-2697.

September 2014

September 12-15
HawaiiCon is a sci-fi, and fantasy convention featuring celebrities from the most popular genre TV shows, scientists, panel discussions, tours, and extra special events. The list of celebrities include: Most of the cast of Stargate: Atlantis, Claudia Christian and Patricia Tallman from Babylon 5, Richard Hatch, Michael Hogan and Kate Vernon from Battlestar Galactica, Esme Bianco from Game of Thrones, voice actress Cree Summer and more. At Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel on the Kohala Coast. Call 808-960-7619 or visit

September 21
3rd Annual Festival of Aloha will include award-winning music and hula in the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel courtyard and ballroom throughout the day. The event also includes Hawaiian craft vendors, food booths. A recommended donation of canned food to benefit Hawaii Island Food Basket is requested. 9:30am-4pm. Call 808-880-1111.

September 26
19th Annual Taste of Hawaiian Range & Agriculture Festival 
thirty top chefs prepare cuisine using all the cuts of pasture-raised beef, plus local produce. Meet local food producers, enjoy samples, browse among educational booths. Entertainment. $40 presale starting July 1, $60 event day. 5pm-8pm at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. Visit

October 2014

October 4
30th Annual Kohala Country Fair
all-day live music, country games and contests, more than 100 food and craft booths, and a low-priced keiki zone. At fairgrounds in Kapa‘au, North Kohala from 9am-4pm. Visit

October 11
Ironman Triathlon World Championship 1,800 triathletes from around the world (50 countries and all 50 States) converge on Kona for this Super Bowl of triathlon events, featuring a 2.4-mile ocean swim off Kailua Pier, a 112-mile bike course to Hawi and a 26.2-mile run. Call 808-329-0063 or visit

October 19
16th Annual Taste of Hilo
features restaurants, chefs, patisseries, candy makers, and beverage distributors from the Big Island. Tickets are $45 presale and $65 at the door (if not sold out). Call 808-934-0177.

November 2014

November 7-16
Kona Coffee Cultural Festival
 includes innovative Kona coffee farm tours, native Hawaiian arts and culture events, keiki (child) friendly activities, and a celebration of cultural diversity blended together in 10 event-filled days honoring nearly 200 years of Kona coffee history. All along the Kona Coast. Visit

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