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.

On-Going Events

Monthly
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.

Every Tuesday
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.

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, and other shows throughout the day. Call 808-932-8901 or visit imiloahawaii.org.

Wednesdays
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.

First Friday of Every Month—March 2 through December 7
Hula Arts at Kilauea: Aloha Friday Program play music with Hawaii’s ukulele practitioner Wes Awana. olcano area musician Wes Awana invites visitors and Kama’aina alike to share his love of the ‘ukulele and Hawaiian music. Wes will be giving family-friendly lessons on the iconic and inviting ‘ukulele. The hands-on ‘ukulele event is held on the front porch of Volcano Art Center Gallery inside the Volcanoes National Park. This is a free event; park entrance fees apply. Call 808-967-8222.

Second Friday of Every Month—March 9 through December 14
Hula Arts at Kilauea: Aloha Friday Program join master lei maker, Randy Lee, on the front porch of Volcano Art Center Gallery. Lee uses a variety of natural materials to fashion the most gorgeous of leis. This hands-on workshop uses the freshest of ferns, leaves and flowers that Randy personally gathers from the Ola’a rain forests. This is a free event occurring every second Friday of the month; park entrance fees apply. 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. Call 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.

Last Saturday of the Month
Hawaiian Sunset 
Saturday celebrate Kona’s spectacular sunset with live Hawaiian music and beautiful hula. Parking is available; coolers are not permitted. On the lawn at Coconut Grove Marketplace, 75-5809 Alii Dr., Kailua-Kona. 5:30pm-6:30pm. Call 808-936-9202.

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.


July 2019

July-August 
Bon Dance Season each year, between the months of June and August, Obon festivals across the globe gather communities together in order to honor the spirits of their ancestors. A cherished Japanese Buddhist custom, dating back more than 500 years, Obon (sometimes shortened to just “Bon”) traditionally lasts for a duration of three days and consists of a dance known as Bon-Odori, which is often the highlight of the entire event. For a complete schedule visit honolulumagazine.com.

July 20
Hula Kahiko performance takes place on the kahua hula (hula platform) located near the Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The performance will take place in a one-of-a-kind outdoor setting at the kahua hula (hula platform) in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Audience members are encouraged to bring sun/rain gear and sitting mats. This presentation is free and open to the public and will be presented authentically in an outdoor setting, rain or shine without electronic amplification. National Park entrance fees may apply. 10:30am-11:30am at the Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Park entrance fees may apply. Call 808-967-8222.

July 20
Na Mea Hula Demonstrations in conjunction with monthly Na Mea hula kahiko performances, join our Native Hawaiian cultural specialist Loke Kamanu and her ohana on the lanai of the Volcano Art Gallery as they share with you “Na Mea Hula” (all things hula).  Come and learn a hula, use various hula implements and try your hand at lei making.  Experience the different aspects that play an integral role in the life of the hula dancer.  These cultural demonstrations are hands-on and family friendly.  This is a free event although park entrance fees apply. 11am-1pm. Call 808-967-8222.

July 20 & 21
4th Annual Tropical Inspirations Quilt Show will be held in the lobby of King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel (Courtyard by Marriott) in downtown Kailua Kona, and will feature a display of over 100 Hawaiian and island-themed quilts. Local quilt designers Roberta Muller and Viv Smith will be on hand to talk story about their designs and demonstrate quilting techniques. The Tropical Inspirations Quilt Show will also feature local craft vendors and a Keiki Corner for our young guests. 10am-5pm both days. Visit tropicalinspirationsquiltshow.weebly.com.

July 27
Volcano’s Ohia Lehua Half Marathon, 5K & Keiki Dash race will begin/end in Volcano Village (at the volcano school of arts & sciences campus on Haunani rd.). the course will take runners up Wright Road through a beautiful Ohia forest with scenic views of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. Visit ohialehuahalf.com.

July 27 & 28
Experience Volcano Festival at Multiple locations in Volcano. The vent will feature art, food, music and performances. Events span the whole of Volcano, from Akatsuka Orchid Gardens to the Volcano Winery, with a concentration of activities in the heart of historic Volcano Village. All events are free of charge. 9:30am-5pm. Visit experiencevolcano.com.

July 27-August 4
Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament is a five-day tournament built on prestige, trophies and strict International Game Fish Association rules for big game fish world records and does not include cash prizes. Along with five full days of sport fishing, HIBT offers daily activities for family members traveling including hiking, snorkeling and sightseeing. Visit hibtfishing.com.


August 2019

August 
Bon Dance Season each year, between the months of June and August, Obon festivals across the globe gather communities together in order to honor the spirits of their ancestors. A cherished Japanese Buddhist custom, dating back more than 500 years, Obon (sometimes shortened to just “Bon”) traditionally lasts for a duration of three days and consists of a dance known as Bon-Odori, which is often the highlight of the entire event. For a complete schedule visit honolulumagazine.com.

August 1-4
Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament is a five-day tournament built on prestige, trophies and strict International Game Fish Association rules for big game fish world records and does not include cash prizes. Along with five full days of sport fishing, HIBT offers daily activities for family members traveling including hiking, snorkeling and sightseeing. Visit hibtfishing.com.

August 7
Hula Voices with Kumu Hula Kimo Awai is an oral history project, presenting an engaging, intimate “talk story” session with Hawaii Island’s hula practitioners, as they share their hula genealogy, traditions, protocols and experiences. These free, educational offerings will occur regularly on the first Wednesday of each month, from 5:30pm-7pm at the Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Park entrance fees may apply. Call 808-967-8222.

August 17
Hula Kahiko performance takes place on the kahua hula (hula platform) located near the Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The performance will take place in a one-of-a-kind outdoor setting at the kahua hula (hula platform) in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Audience members are encouraged to bring sun/rain gear and sitting mats. This presentation is free and open to the public and will be presented authentically in an outdoor setting, rain or shine without electronic amplification. National Park entrance fees may apply. 10:30am-11am at the Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Park entrance fees may apply. Call 808-967-8222.

August 17
Na Mea Hula Demonstrations in conjunction with monthly Na Mea hula kahiko performances, join our Native Hawaiian cultural specialist Loke Kamanu and her ohana on the lanai of the Volcano Art Gallery as they share with you “Na Mea Hula” (all things hula).  Come and learn a hula, use various hula implements and try your hand at lei making.  Experience the different aspects that play an integral role in the life of the hula dancer.  These cultural demonstrations are hands-on and family friendly.  This is a free event although park entrance fees apply. 11am-1pm. Call 808-967-8222.

August 29-September 2
Queen Liliuokalani Long Distance Canoe Races
have been held annually since 1971. The women’s and men’s 18-mile races follow a historically and culturally significant course running between Kamakahonu Beach in Kailua Bay and Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park. Other races include double-hull canoe races, SUP races, OC1 and OC2 races, and teen long distance races. Visit qlcanoerace.com.


September 2019

September 1 & 2
Queen Liliuokalani Long Distance Canoe Races
have been held annually since 1971. The women’s and men’s 18-mile races follow a historically and culturally significant course running between Kamakahonu Beach in Kailua Bay and Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park. Other races include double-hull canoe races, SUP races, OC1 and OC2 races, and teen long distance races. Visit qlcanoerace.com.

September 4
Hula Voices with Kumu Hula Sammye Young is an oral history project, presenting an engaging, intimate “talk story” session with Hawaii Island’s hula practitioners, as they share their hula genealogy, traditions, protocols and experiences. These free, educational offerings will occur regularly on the first Wednesday of each month, from 5:30pm-7pm at the Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Park entrance fees may apply. Call 808-967-8222.

September 7
Taste of Hawaiian Range will again offer daytime agricultural-themed activities before culminating with an evening tasting event showcasing locally produced food. Enjoy local, pasture-raised meats and produce prepared by Hawaii Island chefs and culinary students for $50 presale and $60 at the door. Tickets go on sale July 1. At Mana Christian Ohana (Old Kahilu Town Hall) and the adjacent YMCA Minuke Ole Park in Waimea from 10am-7:30pm. Visit tasteofthehawaiianrange.com.

September 7
Hawaii Island Festival: 30 Days of Aloha Poke Contest cube sized fish (poke) and various ocean delicacies, tako, opihi, loli. We share our delicious fish with the bounty from our ocean, limu eleele, limu kohu, opihi, opae, wana, loli. Visitors as well as our host culture get to taste various preparations of poke. 11am-2pm at Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, 69-275 Waikoloa Beach Dr, Waikoloa Beach Resort. Call 808-987-3274.

September 14
Hawaii Island Festival: 30 Days of Aloha Kindy Sproat Falsetto & Hawaiian Storytelling Competition kane (men) come out to show their skills to throw their voice in higher registers. They also share the manao of their mele, the songwriter and the hidden meaning (kaona). This is to honor the late Uncle Kindy Sproat, a true Hawaiian who lived in Pololu Valley, as his kupuna before him. This event has served as a platform for many falsetto singers to share their talents and voices. 6pm-9:30pm at Kahilu Theatre, 67-1186 Lindsey Rd, Waimea. Call 808-936-3706.

September 21
Hawaii Island Festival: 30 Days of Aloha 43rd Annual Paniolo Parade & Ho‘olaulea starts at Church Row, through Waimea town, past Foodland, right on Lindsey Road, pass Parker School, ends at Waimea Baseball Field the festivities continue at the field after the parade until 4pm. Call 808-936-3706.

September 21
6th Annual Kauai Coffee Trail Run offering moderate to highly-challenging 5K, 10K and 1/2 marathon races through macadamia nut and coffee fields along the beautiful slopes of rural Kau on the southern side of Hawaii Island. 7am start. Visit webscorer.com.

September 21
Hula Kahiko performance takes place on the kahua hula (hula platform) located near the Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The performance will take place in a one-of-a-kind outdoor setting at the kahua hula (hula platform) in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Audience members are encouraged to bring sun/rain gear and sitting mats. This presentation is free and open to the public and will be presented authentically in an outdoor setting, rain or shine without electronic amplification. National Park entrance fees may apply. 10:30am-11am at the Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Park entrance fees may apply. Call 808-967-8222.

September 21
Na Mea Hula Demonstrations in conjunction with monthly Na Mea hula kahiko performances, join our Native Hawaiian cultural specialist Loke Kamanu and her ohana on the lanai of the Volcano Art Gallery as they share with you “Na Mea Hula” (all things hula).  Come and learn a hula, use various hula implements and try your hand at lei making.  Experience the different aspects that play an integral role in the life of the hula dancer.  These cultural demonstrations are hands-on and family friendly.  This is a free event although park entrance fees apply. 11am-1pm. Call 808-967-8222.

September 26-29
HawaiiCon 2019 a 4 day Pop Culture convention open to the public. Each year we bring stars of TV and movies together with comic book artists, world renowned scientists, educators, authors and cultural leaders to share about their work in an all-inclusive, family-friendly event. 2019 guest celebrities include: John Rhys-Davies (The Lord of the Rings), Eddie McClintock (Warehouse 13), Garrett Wang(Star Trek Voyager), Arthur Suydam-The Zombie King, Authors Robert Sawyer and Terry Brooks and more. At the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay. Visit hawaiicon.com.


October 2019

October 2
Hula Voices with Kumu Hula Randy Lee is an oral history project, presenting an engaging, intimate “talk story” session with Hawaii Island’s hula practitioners, as they share their hula genealogy, traditions, protocols and experiences. These free, educational offerings will occur regularly on the first Wednesday of each month, from 5:30pm-7pm at the Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Park entrance fees may apply. Call 808-967-8222.

October 5
Hawaii Food & Wine Festival—From Portugal to Spain: An Iberian Feast from paella to roasted suckling pig. Taste the contemporary interpretations of these cuisines by six master chefs in a sumptuous sit-down dinner paired with sophisticated wines provided by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of Hawaii. 6pm-9:30pm at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. Visit hawaiifoodandwinefestival.com.

October 12
Ironman World Championship 2019 over 2,000 athletes will embark on a 140.6-mile journey that presents the ultimate test of body, mind and spirit to earn the title of Ironman. Visit ironman.com.

October 12
Hula Kahiko performance takes place on the kahua hula (hula platform) located near the Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The performance will take place in a one-of-a-kind outdoor setting at the kahua hula (hula platform) in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Audience members are encouraged to bring sun/rain gear and sitting mats. This presentation is free and open to the public and will be presented authentically in an outdoor setting, rain or shine without electronic amplification. National Park entrance fees may apply. 10:30am-11am at the Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Park entrance fees may apply. Call 808-967-8222.

October 12
Na Mea Hula Demonstrations in conjunction with monthly Na Mea hula kahiko performances, join our Native Hawaiian cultural specialist Loke Kamanu and her ohana on the lanai of the Volcano Art Gallery as they share with you “Na Mea Hula” (all things hula).  Come and learn a hula, use various hula implements and try your hand at lei making.  Experience the different aspects that play an integral role in the life of the hula dancer.  These cultural demonstrations are hands-on and family friendly.  This is a free event although park entrance fees apply. 11am-1pm. Call 808-967-8222.

October 20
21st Annual Taste of Hilo eatures the culinary skills of more than 35 chefs, restaurants, and patisseries, who provide their talents, ingredients and staff to make this annual event a success. 1pm-3pm at Sangha Hall, 398 Kilauea Ave, Hilo. Visit jccih.org.

October 24-28
4th Annual Hawaii Island Festival of Birds The festival includes a reception and film festival, guided birding excursions on land and sea, and the fun “Birds, Brews & Binos” bird fair. Visit birdfesthawaii.org.

October 25-28
Traditional Tattoo Festival at Kohala Institute celebrates the ritualistic and ceremonial practice of traditional tattooing from Pacific and Arctic cultures including Hawaiian, Inuit, Filipino, etc. The festival opens on Friday Oct 25 with a welcome ritual and opening. Saturday is our cultural festival that is a free one-day cultural festival for the general public featuring music, food, dance, kapa, wood carving and lauhala and demonstrations of traditional tattooing. At 53-580 Iole Rd, Kapaau. Call 808-430-5009.


November 2019

November 1-10
49th Annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival
is unique, enriching and ensures that the story of Kona coffee’s cultural heritage continues to be shared with residents and visitors. Visit konacoffeefest.com.

November 6
Hula Voices with Kumu Hula Moses Crabbe is an oral history project, presenting an engaging, intimate “talk story” session with Hawaii Island’s hula practitioners, as they share their hula genealogy, traditions, protocols and experiences. These free, educational offerings will occur regularly on the first Wednesday of each month, from 5:30pm-7pm at the Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Park entrance fees may apply. Call 808-967-8222.

November 9
100% Pure Kona Coffee Marathon & Half Marathon takes runners south along Alii Drive to the infamous “Pit” at the “End of the World”. Enjoy spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean along the way! This year, you can choose to run either the Marathon or Half-Marathon distance. When you finish, enjoy Kona coffee in your signature 100% Pure coffee mug. 5:30am start. Visit purekonahalf.com.

November 16
Hula Kahiko performance takes place on the kahua hula (hula platform) located near the Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The performance will take place in a one-of-a-kind outdoor setting at the kahua hula (hula platform) in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Audience members are encouraged to bring sun/rain gear and sitting mats. This presentation is free and open to the public and will be presented authentically in an outdoor setting, rain or shine without electronic amplification. National Park entrance fees may apply. 10:30am-11am at the Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Park entrance fees may apply. Call 808-967-8222.

November 16
Na Mea Hula Demonstrations in conjunction with monthly Na Mea hula kahiko performances, join our Native Hawaiian cultural specialist Loke Kamanu and her ohana on the lanai of the Volcano Art Gallery as they share with you “Na Mea Hula” (all things hula).  Come and learn a hula, use various hula implements and try your hand at lei making.  Experience the different aspects that play an integral role in the life of the hula dancer.  These cultural demonstrations are hands-on and family friendly.  This is a free event although park entrance fees apply. 11am-1pm. Call 808-967-8222.

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