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.
First Friday—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.
Hawaiian Style Band at Kahilu Theatre with Wade Cambern, Brian Kessler, and Sistah Robi Kahakalau. They offered a fresh musical perspective on local culture with original compositions about living Hawaiian style-about island romance, talking story, ‘ohana, and sovereignty. 7pm at 67-1186 Lindsey Rd, Waimea. Call 808-885-6868.
27th Annual Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival showcases the annual blooming of its historic cherry trees and the Japanese tradition of viewing and appreciating the transient beauty of their flowers, or hanami. Festival attendees enjoy Japanese and multicultural live performances, as well as colorful craft fairs and hands-on demonstrations exploring bonsai, origami, a traditional tea ceremony and mochi pounding. 9am-3pm. Call 808-961-8796.
29th annual Amer Ari Intercollegiate Golf Tournament will include competition from multiple NCAA Division I teams from across the country. Event s held at the Waikoloa Kings’ Course. Visit waikoloabeachgolf.com.
4th Annual Hawaii Island Steel Guitar Festival will feature steel guitar performances by Hawaii steel guitar masters, workshops, jam sessions where festival guests can play along with steel guitar masters, and Open Stage sessions where amateur and professional Hawaiian Steel Guitarists can present their own program to festival guests. At Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Worldwide, 68-1400 Mauna Lani Dr, Mauna Lani. Call 808-375-9379.
28th Annual Panaewa Stampede Rodeo will spotlight three days of Hawaii-style rodeo at the Panaewa Equestrian Center, just outside of Hilo. Visit hawaiirodeostampede.com.
Schoolhouse Rock Live based on the popular 1970’s cartoon series, this fast-paced musical teaches lessons with clever, catchy tunes. 7pm at Kahilu Theatre, 67-1186 Lindsey Rd, Waimea. Visit app.arts-people.com.
February 22 & 23
SOKO 6th Annual Artists Studio Weekend visit 20 artists in their studios at 12 locations along the winding and scenic Mamalahoa Highway from Keauhou throughout South Kona to Honaunau. 9am-4pm. Visit sokoartists.com.
3rd Annual North Kohala Community Resource Center Golf Tournament is two-man scramble at the Hapuna Golf Course at Mauna Kea Resort. Tournament proceeds help offset the Center’s operational expenses so staff may focus on the success of nearly 90 supported community projects. Entry ($160/player) includes green fees, shared cart, morning refreshments, course beverages, delicious buffet lunch prepared by The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort, silent auction & prizes. Visit NorthKohala.org.
25th Annual Kona Brewers’ Festival join the most innovative craft brewers from across the Hawaiian Islands and mainland U.S., in the spirit of collaboration through food, fun, art, and our vibrant island community. The sell-out fundraising beer festival is known for featuring the newest creations by 36 chefs and 36 brewers, island style, with live music and entertainment along the white sandy bay. 3pm-7pm at Courtyard at King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel Lu‘au Grounds, 75-5660 Palani Rd, Kailua-Kona. Visit konabrewersfestival.com.
57th Annual Merrie Monarch Festival is a non-profit organization that honors the legacy of King David Kalākaua, who inspired the perpetuation of Hawaiian traditions, native language and arts. A week-long festival features an internationally acclaimed hula competition, an invitational Hawaiian arts fair, hula shows, and a grand parade through Hilo town. Visit merriemonarch.com.
Mark Yamanaka – Luce Unplugged Series five night lineup of artists include Ian O’Sullivan, Charles Brotman, Mark Yamanaka, Blayne Asing and Sonny Lim; each with their own concert in the Mike Luce Studio. $38 at Kahilu Theatre, 67-1186 Lindsey Rd, Waimea. Call 808-885-6868.
May 1 & 2
9th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival with the indoor-outdoor festival gala—enjoy a host of sweet and savory culinary stations presented by top isle chefs, chocolatiers and confectioners to benefit community beneficiaries. At the Westin Hapuna Beach Resort. Visit bigislandchocolatefestival.com.
12th Annual Kau Coffee Festival discover what makes the rural Kau area so special. Some events are free, others require a fee. Enjoy a full day of live music, hula, local food and crafts, educational displays, keiki activities, guided coffee tastings, farm and mill tours at the Hoolauea. Visit kaucoffeefestival.com.