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.

NOTE: Due to Volcanic activities the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is closed until further notice. This may affect some of the events listed below that are schedule within the National Park. Please check with the event host. 

 

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.

 

June 2018

June through August
Bon Dance Season on Big Island 
summer usually brings in an abundance of three things: Mango, lychee and Obon dances. These celebrations held across the state are a Japanese tradition — the observance of Obon, held in memory of our departed family members. Festivals feature food and, of course, a big group Obon dance. Everyone is welcome. Details to follow.

June 14-23
5th Ka Aha Hula O Halauaola is a gathering of Kumu Hula, Hula Practitioners and Scholars of Native Hawaiian Culture, Language and Arts who will present hands-on workshops and presentations on Hula and its attendant arts. Evening performances are free and open to the public from June 18-22 at 7pm at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. Visit kahoh.org.

June 23 & 24
Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park Annual Cultural Festival will include canoe rides in Hōnaunau Bay, lauhala and coconut frond weaving, kapa beating, traditional lei making, traditional Hawaiian foods tasting and hukilau (traditional fishing) demonstration and more. This year’s festival theme is Ua lehulehu a manomano ka ‘ikena a ka Hawai‘i, Great and numerous is the knowledge of the Hawaiian. Free event. 9am-3pm at Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park. Call 808-328-2326 x1702.

June 29
Hula Arts at Kilauea: Aloha Friday program join fiber artist and nationally recognized gourd artist, Jelena Clay on the lanai of Volcano Art Center Gallery for a workshop on Lauhala weaving.  Lauhala leaves come from the Hala tree, a very special Pacific Island tree.  Students will learn how to select, prepare and dye Lauhala leaves.  Each student will have the opportunity to create a Lauhala bookmark in the workshop with or without color.  She will also go over how to create different design patterns. This free event, but park entrance fees apply. Call 808-987-7288.

 

July 2018

July through August
Bon Dance Season on Big Island 
summer usually brings in an abundance of three things: Mango, lychee and Obon dances. These celebrations held across the state are a Japanese tradition — the observance of Obon, held in memory of our departed family members. Festivals feature food and, of course, a big group Obon dance. Everyone is welcome. Details to follow.

July 4
4th of July in Volcano Village a parade will begin at 9am at the Volcano Post Office and proceed for one half mile along Old Volcano Road to Cooper Community Center. Call 808-967-7800.

July 4
Turtle Indepence Day at Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows 
the resort has raised young honu from Sea Life Park on Oahu in their saltwater ponds. Several juvenile turtles are approved for release each year. The public is invited to the Turtle Independence Day festivities which include a welcome ceremony, hula performance, honu release, live entertainment and edibles for purchase from island food trucks. Call 808-885-6622.

July 4
Annual Kailua-Kona Independence Day Parade & Fireworks parade will begin at 10am at and proceed along Ali’i Drive and finish at the Royal Kona Resort. Fireworks begin at 8pm. Call 808-345-2108.

July 4
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.

July 5
Hula Voices at Kilauea an engaging, intimate “talk story” session with Hawaii Island’s hula practitioners who eat, sleep and live on the practice of hula and its associated arts. This is a free event although park entrance fees apply. Visit volcanoartcenter.org.

July 6-26
Contemporary Perspectives from the Paradise Studio Tour Artist Collective some of the collective’s finest works in clay, fiber, oil/acrylics/watercolor, glass, jewelry, and photography. 8:30am-4:30pm. Free. Wailoa Arts Center, 200 Piopio St, Hilo.

July 21
Hula Arts at Kilauea: Hula Kahiko Performance Hula performed in a one-of-a-kind outdoor setting at the kahua hula (platform) in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This performance is presented authentically in a natural setting, rain or shine without electronic amplification. Audience members are encouraged to bring sun/rain gear and sitting mats. 10:30am-11:30am. This free event, but park entrance fees apply. Call 808-987-7288.

 

August 2018

July through August
Bon Dance Season on Big Island 
summer usually brings in an abundance of three things: Mango, lychee and Obon dances. These celebrations held across the state are a Japanese tradition — the observance of Obon, held in memory of our departed family members. Festivals feature food and, of course, a big group Obon dance. Everyone is welcome. Details to follow.

August 4-12
59th Annual International Billfish Tournament 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. Daily weigh-ins at Kailua Pier attracting hundreds of spectators. Visit hibtfishing.com.

August 18
Hula Arts at Kilauea: Hula Kahiko Performance Hula performed in a one-of-a-kind outdoor setting at the kahua hula (platform) in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This performance is presented authentically in a natural setting, rain or shine without electronic amplification. Audience members are encouraged to bring sun/rain gear and sitting mats. 10:30am-11:30am. This free event, but park entrance fees apply. Call 808-987-7288.

August 30
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 2018

September 7-9
Hawaii Island Steel Guitar Festival At Mauna Lani will feature performances by steel guitar masters and by next generation steel guitar students. There will also be workshops & jam sessions “kanikapila” where festival guests can play along with the steel guitar masters. Free event. At Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows, 68-1400 Mauna Lani Dr., Mauna Lani. Visit hawaiisteelguitarfestival.com.

September 8
Aloha Poke Competition cube sized fish (poke) and various ocean delicacies, tako, opihi, loli. Share our delicious fish with the bounty from our ocean, limu eleele, limu kohu, opihi, opae, wana, loli. Evebryone gets to taste various preparations of poke. 11am-2pm at Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort, 69-275 Waikoloa Beach Dr., Waikoloa. Call 808 987-3274.

September 13-16
Hawaiicon will bring together leading cast members from TV shows and movies well as stars from a dozen other shows, cosplayers, space scientists, visionaries, gamers, comic book artists, and writers. At the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows, 68-1400 Mauna Lani Dr., Mauna Lani. Visit hawaiicon.com.

September 14-17
3rd Annual Festival of Birds will include expert guest speakers, a trade show for outdoor and birding equipment, a children’s corner, bird-themed arts and crafts fair, photography workshop, a birding film festival, time to interact with Hawaii Island naturalists and bird experts, and guided field trips on land and sea. At the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa, 78-128 Ehukai St., Keauhou. Visit birdfesthawaii.org.

September 15
Waimea 43rd Annual Paniolo Parade & Ho‘olaulea the parade shows off paniolo, the art of pa’u, the art of hula, oli, olelo, our royal society Ahahui Ka’ahumanu Waimea Chapter. We have schools, church groups, hula halau, businesses, etc, as participants in our annual Paniolo Parade. 10am-11am at Waimea Cherry Blossom Park in Waimea. A Ho‘olaulea follows until 4pm with food, crafts and taiko drummers. Call 808 936-3706.

September 15
Hula Arts at Kilauea: Hula Kahiko Performance Hula performed in a one-of-a-kind outdoor setting at the kahua hula (platform) in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This performance is presented authentically in a natural setting, rain or shine without electronic amplification. Audience members are encouraged to bring sun/rain gear and sitting mats. 10:30am-11:30am. This free event, but park entrance fees apply. Call 808-987-7288.

September 22
5th Annual Ka‘u Coffee Trail Run 2018 offers 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 28
Ohina Short Film Showcase an evening of incredible independent films. Since 1999, the Ohina Short Film Showcase is Hawaii’s largest annual short film festival dedicated to gathering and presenting original works by students, amateurs, and professional filmmakers. Although entries can come from around the world, there is only one requirement: a creative relationship to the Hawaiian Islands. 6pm-8:30pm at Palace Theater, 38 Haili St., Hilo. Call 808-224-8417.

 

October 2018

October 13
Ironman World Championship 2018 
combining the three toughest endurance races in Hawai‘i. 6:30am start. Visit ironman.com.

October 13
Hula Arts at Kilauea: Hula Kahiko Performance Hula performed in a one-of-a-kind outdoor setting at the kahua hula (platform) in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This performance is presented authentically in a natural setting, rain or shine without electronic amplification. Audience members are encouraged to bring sun/rain gear and sitting mats. 10:30am-11:30am. This free event, but park entrance fees apply. Call 808-987-7288.