Big Island Upcoming 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 Hawai‘i 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 or visit volcanoartcenter.org.
Free 5K Run & Walk meet up at Big Island Running Company on Alii Drive in Kailua-Kona for this fun, free, non-competitive fun run. Visitors, residents, children, anyone and everyone are invited to join the community camaraderie and help promote active, healthy lifestyles. 5pm. Call 808-327-9333.
First Tuesday of the Month
Kona Historical Society: Special Bakes at its stone oven, located below the Kealakekua office. From 10am-12:30pm, the public is invited to watch the baking process. Loaves are $8, sold on a first-come, first-served basis, starting at about 12:30pm at 81-6551 Mamalahoa Hwy. Call 808-323-3222.
First Tuesday of the Month
Kona Stories Local Author Nights from 6pm-8pm local authors present their newly published books followed by an informal author signing and talk story. The book store puts down an amazing pupu (appetizer) spread and offers a free glass of wine. At Kona Stories bookstore in the Keauhou Shopping Center. Call 808-324-0350 or visit konastories.com.
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, and other shows throughout the day. Call 808-932-8901 or visit imiloahawaii.org.
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.
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.
Second Saturday of the Month
Night Market @ The Point a wide range of Hawaiian-local food along with local crafts and clothing and live music. Family friendly and alcohol, drug and tobacco-free. 5pm-9pm at Connect Point Church, 168 Holomua St., Hilo. Call 808-961-5651.
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.
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. For a schedule of dates visit historickailuavillage.com.
Big Island Woodturners Invitational – 19th Annual Exhibit will be featuring turnings from all of the woodturning clubs in the state of Hawaii. Starting with “Meet the Artist Reception” on March 3rd from 5pm-7pm with a silent auction. The exhibit is free to the public and open Monday to Saturday from 8:30am-4:30pm starting March 4th through the 30th. There will also be woodturning demonstrations on March 4, 11, 18 and 25 from 10am–2pm. at Wailoa Center, 200 Piopio St., Hilo. Visit bigislandwoodturners.org.
17th Annual Tribute to Kamehameha III: Birthday Celebration for Lani Kauikeaouli who was born at Keauhou Bay in Kona. The celebration includes a free Hawaiian music concert at the Sheraton Kona, a special tribute and lecture. Join a special tribute at Keauhou Bay at 10am. Listen to a free lecture from Dr. Kalehua Krug of the Office of Hawaiian Education at the Sheraton Kona’s Kaleiopapa Convention Center. 5:30pm–7:30pm. Enjoy a free concert on the Sheraton Kona’s Hawai’i Lawn and enjoy a vendor marketplace, and more. 3pm-9pm. Free shuttle service from Keauhou Shopping Center to the Sheraton, 2:30pm–9:30pm. Mats and beach chairs welcome, no coolers. Visit ksbe.edu/keauhou.
Aunty Mimi’s Astro-Bash experience the dynamic world of astronomy with hands-on science projects, free planetarium shows, out of this world demonstrations and end the night with a live science show by Aunty Mimi to explore the wacky world of space. Giveaways, face painting and a chance to win prizes. Free event and suitable for all ages. 4:30pm-6:30pm at the Kailua-Kona Public Library, 75-138 Hualalai Rd. Call 808-327-4327.
12th Annual Laupahoehoe Music Festival will take place at Laupahoehoe Point Beach Park. Music, crafters, game booths and food / drinks will be present. 10am-3pm. Alcohol and drug free event. No coolers. Visit laupahoehoemusicfestival.org.
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. At Edith Kanakaole Tennis Stadium, 350 Kalanikoa St., Hilo. Visit merriemonarch.com.
April 28 & 29
6th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival opens with a cacao plantation tour in Keauhou and continues with agriculture seminars, culinary demonstrations, college culinary competition and decadent gala (on the 29th) at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel on the Kohala Coast from 5pm-9pm. Features sweet and savory culinary creations, unlimited wine and beer pours, chocolate body painting, a chocolate sculpture, entertainment, dancing and silent auction. Visit BigIslandChocolateFestival.com.
Live on Stage – The Miracle Worker is a moving drama by William Gibson adapted from his 1957 Playhouse 90 teleplay of the same name, based on Helen Keller’s autobiography, The Story of My Life. Fri/Sat at 7:30pm and Sun at 2:30pm at Aloha Theatre, 79-7384 Mamalahoa Hwy, Kainaliu. Visit apachawaii.org.
May 12 & 13
Annual Mothers Day Show & Sale: Kona Orchid Society see exotic orchid species and exciting new hybrids. 9am-6pm Friday, 8am-4pm Saturday at Old Airport Park event pavilion, 75-5560 Kuakini Hwy, Kailua-Kona. Visit konaorchidsociety.org.
Ultimi – The Three Tenors were a sensation when they performed to a sold-out audience in 2015. Tickets $20 in advance / $25 at the door. 7pm at Hilo Palace Theater, 38 Haili St., Hilo. Call 808-333-7378.
Annual Ka‘u Coffee Festival offering coffee, food, crafts, entertainment, guided coffee tastings and farm/mill tours. Some events are free, others have a fee. At the Pahala Community Center, 1149 Kamani St., Pahala. Visit kaucoffeefestival.com.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Ballet West Hawaii Dance Theatre and Academy brings Lewis Carroll’s beloved classic to life with a fresh new twist. The music of Joby Talbot and Carl Davis will keep you toe-tapping through the re-make of the original family-friendly adventure. 4pm at Kahilu Theatre in Kamuela. Visit whdt.org.
Ironman 70.3 starts with an open-ocean swim and follows with a challenging course along the northern half of the Ironan World Championship bike course. The hot and sunny run starts and finishes at the beautiful Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, and winds its way through the Mauna Lani Resort over modern golf greens, past ancient petroglyph fields and fishponds, and the historic Ala Loa Foot trail. The post-race lawn party at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii is worth making it to the finish line. Visit ironman.com.
Hilo Bay Blast activities around the Hilo Bayfront, including games, cook-offs, music and more. Fireworks at 8pm over Hilo Bay. Call 808-961-8706.
Parade & Celebration in Volcano Village parade will begin at 9am at the Volcano Post Office and proceed for one half mile along Old Volcano Road to Cooper Community Center. Cal 808-967-7800.
Kailua-Kona Independence Day Parade & Fireworks the parade starts at 6pm along Kuakini Highway. It will proceed south on Kuakini Highway, to Palani Road, to Alii Drive, and then south on Alii Drive to Walua Road just past Coconut Grove Marketplace. Immediately following the parade, there will be a grand Fireworks Extravaganza over Kailua Bay, starting at 8pm. Call 808-313-0025.
Independence Day Parade Fireworks at Waikoloa Beach Resort fireworks over Waikoloa Bowl at 8pm. This is an alcohol and drug free event. Call 808-886-8822.
Parker Ranch 4th of July Horse Races & Rodeo ranchers participate in fast-paced horseraces and rodeo events with Parker Ranch cowboys. Ribbon mugging, ranch mugging, dally team roping, Po’o Wai U and more. Keiki activities including roping practice and pony rides. Lots of food and mementos for sale at the Parker Ranch Store booth. Call 808-885-2323.