The Big Island is home to a wide variety of festivals and annual events. Here are some fun and exciting events and festivals that are happening in the coming months. To help you plan your Hawaii vacation, you can click on the menu below to skip to the month you’re interested in. Or, you can scroll through and be inspired by the Big Island’s great festivals and events.

July Events on the Big Island


SUMMER FEST AT THE SHOPS AT MAUNA LANI

July 7, 2018 @ The Shops at Mauna Lani

On July 7, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., enjoy Summer Fest, featuring free activities including a Wave Rider water slide, rock climbing wall, bounce castle as well as water play in the newly refurbished fountain. In addition, there will be free carnival games for young and old. Live entertainment includes music and contests with prizes emceed by DJ Ed Geer. A variety of foods will be available for purchase during the festival, including sliders and gourmet hot dogs by Tommy Bahama, vegetarian treats from Under the Bodhi Tree, Mexican foods and won-tons from the Won Ton food wagon. (Konaweb.com)

JOANN WILLIAMS’ CHRISTMAS IN JULY CRAFTS FAIR

July 14, 2018 @ Kailua-Kona

Gifts, jewelry, art, and crafts, featuring a statewide selection fo vendors and artisans. Time: 9am-5pm at Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel’s Kamakahonu ballrooms and foyers, main lobby foyer and the formal garden tent area. For more info, call (808) 325-5155. (Konaweb.com)

10th ANNUAL MANGO FESTIVAL

July 21, 2018 @ Kailua-Kona

This event, which will be held at Hale Halawai on Alii Drive, from 10 am to 5 pm, will honor Big Island of Hawai’i mango varieties. Featuring mango grafting, growing techniques, mango trees for sale, mango recipe preparation and sampling, Hawaiian culture and hula, and entertainment. This is a zero waste event. For more information, call (808) 936-5233 or visit www.mangofest.org. (Konaweb.com)


For more events happening on the Big Island in July, see konaweb.com.

August Events on the Big Island


59th ANNUAL HAWAIIAN INTERNATIONAL BILLFISH TOURNAMENT

August 4-12, 2018 @ Kailua-Kona

The Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament (HIBT), founded in 1959, is the second oldest big game sport fishing event in the world. HIBT 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. Other tournament events include the new Opening Ceremony, the official recognition of teams from around the world; daily weigh-ins at Kailua Pier attracting hundreds of spectators. (Gohawaii.com)

DON THE BEACHCOMBER MAI TAI FESTIVAL

August 18, 2018 @ Kailua-Kona

A full day of fun at Royal Kona Resort, including a Battle of the BBQ, a Marketplace, a Pool Party with live music, and The Mai Tai Mix-off from 4:30-7:30pm, where 20 of the world’s best bartenders will compete for the title of the world’s best mai tai and a $10,000 first prize, a $5000 second prize, and a $2500 third prize. Call 808/930-3255 or visit donsmaitaifest.com/ for more info. (Konaweb.com)

AFTERNOON AT THE PALACE CONCERT/HULA AND VILLAGE STROLL

August 19, 2018 @ Hulihe’e Place on Alii Drive

Hawaiian music by Keolanui Serenaders and hula from Kumu Etua Lopes’ halau Hula Na Pua U’i O Hawai’i on the grounds of Hulihe’e Palace on Alii Drive from 4-5pm. Bring your own beach mat or chair. Before and after the Palace performance, stroll thru historic Kailua Village (the Stroll starts at 1pm & goes till 6pm), enjoy over 100 vendor booths, plus oceanside restaurants, local musicians & artists. **Hulihe’e Palace will undergo repair work starting July 2018. The concert schedule may be impacted during the repair which may result in cancellations of the concerts. For more info about the Palace event, email hulihee@ilhawaii.net. For more info about the Stroll, email HKVevents@yahoo.com or visit historickailuavillage.com. (Konaweb.com)

47th ANNUAL QUEEN LILI’UOKALANI LONG DISTANCE OUTRIGGER CANOE RACES

August 30-September 3, 2018 @ Kailua Pier

The Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Races welcomes more than 2,500 outrigger canoe paddlers to Kona for its signature 18-mile long distance race, the world’s largest long distance outrigger canoe race. Kai ‘Opua Canoe Club, one of Hawai’i’s oldest outrigger canoe clubs, will host crews from all over the world. Other official race events unfold throughout the holiday weekend. Free to the public. For more information, call 808-938-8577 or visit www.kaiopua.org.


For more events happening on the Big Island in August, see konaweb.com.

September Events on the Big Island


August 30-September 3, 2018 @ Kailua Pier

The Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Races welcomes more than 2,500 outrigger canoe paddlers to Kona for its signature 18-mile long distance race, the world’s largest long distance outrigger canoe race. Kai ‘Opua Canoe Club, one of Hawai’i’s oldest outrigger canoe clubs, will host crews from all over the world. Other official race events unfold throughout the holiday weekend. Free to the public. For more information, call 808-938-8577 or visit www.kaiopua.org.

P.S. Check out our blog post on the 2016 Queen Lili’uokalani Canoe Races!

2nd ANNUAL HAWAI’I ISLAND STEEL GUITAR FESTIVAL – MAUNA LANI BAY HOTEL, KOHALA COAST

September 7-9, 2018 @ Mauna Lani Bay Hotel, Kohala Coast

Featuring steel guitar performances by Hawai’i steel guitar masters, workshops, jam sessions where festival guests play along with the steel guitar masters, and Open Stage sessions where amateur and professional Hawaiian Steel guitarists present their own program to festival guests. Free to the public. For more info, visit https://hawaiisteelguitarfestival.com. (Konaweb.com)

HAWAI’I ISLAND FESTIVAL’S ANNUAL POKE CONTEST – WAIKOLOA BEACH MARRIOTT

September 8, 2018 @ Waikoloa Beach Marriott

A popular contest featuring cube-sized fish (poke) with various ocean delicacies, tako, opihi, loli and more, added for flavor. For more information, call (808) 937-4896, email LPokipala@Queens.Org or visit http://www.hawaiiislandfestival.org/. (Konaweb.com)

HAWAI’I ISLAND FESTIVAL’S ANNUAL KINDY SPROAT FALSETTO & STORYTELLING CONTEST

September 8, 2018 @ Kahilu Theatre, 67-1186 Lindsey Road, Kamuela, HI

This unique music competition features talented male singers of all ages who can not only sing in the unique Hawaiian falsetto style, but can also captivate the audience with the stories behind the songs. For more information, call (808) 217-2634, email dmkama@gmail.com or visit hawaiiislandfestival.org(Konaweb.com)

36th ANNUAL KUPUNA HULA FESTIVAL – SHERATON KONA RESORT

September 12-13, 2018 @ Sheraton Kona

A very popular event featuring hula performed by halau of 55 years and up. This event always sells out, so reserve your tickets in advance by calling (808) 323-4340. There will be a Hawaiian crafts fair in conjunction with the festival in the foyer of the ballroom and the adjacent conference rooms both days. (Konaweb.com)

HAWAIICON – THE WORLD’S FIRST SCI-FI, SCIENCE, AND FANTASY TROPICAL VACATION CONVENTION

September 13-16, 2018 @ Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows

This event 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. We start with taking the celebrities out on tours with the fans around the island to change their frame of mind and then through our gentle application of aloha, our subtle nurturing of the feeling of ohana, our location right on the beach, we have dissolved the distance between fans and their fandom! (Gohawaii.com)

3rd ANNUAL HAWAI’I ISLAND FESTIVAL OF BIRDS – KEAUHOU, KONA

September 14-17, 2018 @ Keauhou, Kona

What an adventure… land and sea birding trips, opportunities to explore Hawai‘i Island’s diverse environments, an “everything bird” arts and craft fair, a film festival, great food, and more. Another great celebration of Hawai’i’s birdlife! Make your reservation today before spots sell out. Earlybird pricing ends July 31. To be held at Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa. For more information, call (808) 331-3655 or visit http://birdfesthawaii.org/ to register. (Konaweb.com)

HAWAI’I ISLAND FESTIVAL’S WAIMEA 43rd ANNUAL PANIOLO PARADE

September 15, 2018 @ Waimea

10:00am – 11:00am. Starts at Waimea Cherry Blossom Park and ends at Waimea Baseball Field.

We show off our 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. Many of our paniolo and pa’u riders are true paniolo; they all own ranches, work & live the way of paniolo as their kupuna and teach our younger generation, thus perpetuate our host culture. Some of our pa’u riders are 5th generation who live the lifestyle. This event provides venues for practitioners to share their skills and knowledge of the culture. It also provides venues for artisans to display and sell their work. Our paniolo and pa’u riders perpetuate our host culture. Our events also draw visitors during this “shoulder period” who learn, experience, respect our host culture and help our economy. (Gohawaii.com)

HAWAI’I ISLAND FESTIVAL’S WAIMEA HOOLAULEA

September 15, 2018 @ Waimea Baseball Field

We start off with community olelo Hawaii by our keiki, Taiko drummers “sound the alarm” and draw people in from the Parade. Our Craft Tent is filled with clothing, purses, jewelry, lauhala products. Delicious food and snacks can be found by following your nose around Waimea Park. The sellout booth is always the fried fish booth, kole, and menpachi. You sit on your hali’i and make friends with the family next to you, talk story, enjoy the beautiful music and occasional hula dancer. What a beautiful family affair in beautiful paniolo country! Please come join us!! Family Event. (Gohawaii.com)


For more events happening on the Big Island in September, see konaweb.com.

October Events on the Big Island


HAWAI’I FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL: UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN

October 6, 2018 @ Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa

At the eighth annual Hawai’i Food & Wine Festival’s Island of Hawai’i event, be transported to central Italy through a six-course Tuscan feast that will bring the region’s rolling hills of olive groves and vineyards to life. Home to Renaissance masterpieces, winding roads lined with cypress trees, and 10 delicious provinces, Tuscany is where the food is genuino. It is the place of rosemary and sage, pecorino, and roasted game. Six Cuisines of the Sun alumni chefs will craft dishes thoughtfully paired with wines by Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits Hawaii. (Gohawaii.com)

IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TRIATHLON – KAILUA-KONA

October 13, 2018 @ Kailua-Kona

This ultimate endurance event – a 2.4 mile swim, 112-mile bike and a 26.2 mile run – attracts thousands of the world’s best athletes, and thousands of volunteers from the Big Island help make it happen! Watch West Hawaii Today newspaper for updates on the event. Also visit www.ironman.com(Konaweb.com)

MONSTER DASH

October TBA, 2018 @ Old Airport Beach Park, Kailua-Kona

This family friendly event involves dashing through the 5K muddy obstacle course – great prizes, food, drinks, and music! For more information, call (808) 937-3727 or email Emccullough@kuleanaeducation.com. (Konaweb.com)

RUN FOR THE DRY FOREST

October TBA, 2018 @ Pu’u Wa’awa’a

The annual Run for the Dry Forest at Pu’u Wa’awa’a is a 10km run, 5km run/walk and 1/4 mile keiki run, with a 7:30am start. You can choose to run or walk a 5km course (suitable for most people), or do a 10 km run (an “extreme trail running experience” featuring a 1200 ft elevation gain in the first 3 miles). There is also a fun, non-competitive 1/4 mile run of flat surfaces; parents are welcome to join the kids. Pu’u Wa’awa’a is home to several species of endangered birds and many endangered plants, some of which are found nowhere else in the world. Proceeds from the race events contribute to conservation of these species. Registration is required. PLEASE NOTE: No pets are allowed, as there are endangered nene geese in the area. Time: 6:45am to noon. Cost: $30 Adults/$15 Children 14 & under. For more information, call 938-7795, email lyman.perry@hawaii.gov or visit https://register.chronotrack.com/r/30584. (Konaweb.com)

‘OHANA HALLOWEEN PA’INA

October TBA, 2018 @ Keauhoa, Kona

Free admission. Haunted House, playground, and vendors from 5-9:30pm. Keiki Costume Contest; Adult Costume Contest, and live entertainment. For more info &; parking details, visit Keauhou Shopping Center’s website(Konaweb.com)


For more events happening on the Big Island in October, see konaweb.com.

November Events on the Big Island


KONA COFFEE CULTURAL FESTIVAL

November 9-18, 2018 @ Various Locations

For nearly 200 years much has been celebrated, discussed and enjoyed over a cup of Kona’s world famous coffee. Praised for its fine, light and memorable taste, Kona coffee once again takes center stage at the 48th Annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival. Throughout the 10-day Festival, celebrate the harvest as Kona coffee farms offer a firsthand look at growing this world-famous crop, the coffee art scene fills with inspiration, and music and dance enrich cultural exchanges. Kona coffee and food events offer tastings, and hands-on cultural events help tell the story of Kona’s rich coffee history. For information call: 808-326-7820 or email laura@current-events.com or visit www.konacoffeefest.com. (Konaweb.com)

100% PURE KONA COFFEE HALF MARATHON

November 10, 2018 @ Kailua-Kona

Run the scenic coastline of Kailua-Kona from Coconut Grove Marketplace on Alii Drive south to the (in)famous “Pit” and the “End of the World.” Challenge yourself to some hills and then enjoy 100% pure Kona coffee in your finishers’ coffee mug at the finish line. Starts at 6:30 a.m. at Big Island Running Company in Coconut Grove Marketplace, Kailua-Kona. Cost: $50 until October 10; $60 until November 9. For more information, call (808) 600-1113, email 100percentkonahalf@gmail.com or visit http://purekonahalf.com/. (Konaweb.com)


For more events happening on the Big Island in November, see konaweb.com.

December Events on the Big Island


58th ANNUAL WAIMEA CHRISTMAS TWILIGHT PARADE

December 1, 2018 @ Waimea

Details TBA. 5:30-6:45pm. Mamalahoa Highway through Waimea Town Center.

JINGLE BELL BEACH RUN -5k RUN

December 16, 2018 @ Coconut Grove Marketplace on Ali’i Drive

The 14th Annual Jingle Bell Beach Run. The ultimate Kona running event!  Start time is at 7:30 AM SHARP with timing provided by JTL Timing Systems.  The featured 5k event encourages participation from all fitness levels and running backgrounds.  Great fun for everyone, family oriented – a perfect addition to your holiday celebrations! And parents…be sure to get your kids ready for ‘SANTA’S KEIKI DASH” – a popular fun Kona running event for children 6 & under! (100-yd & 200-yd events) (Gohawaii.com)

21st ANNUAL TRADITIONAL MOCHI POUNDING

December 29, 2018 @ Waimea Village

Akiko’s over the years has become synonymous with MOCHI POUNDING. This will be our 21st year. Started with 23 people, mostly neighbors, and now it has become a popular community and public event. This past year we had between 600-700 folks visit our wee village to participate in mochi pounding and other activities. Come and join the fun on Saturday, Dec. 29th, from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. making traditional rice cakes the “old-fashioned” way. Everyone takes their turn at pounding the glutinous sticky rice for good luck. Fire building starts at 7 a.m. to steam the rice. Hearty local style lunch for $5. New years crafts, food vendors, fortune telling, massage, I Ching readings, floral arrangements, plantation stories, Okinawan taiko drumming, Hawaiian entertainment & more. Great cultural mix of everything that makes Hawaii so special. (Hawaiiweb.com)


For more events happening on the Big Island in December, see konaweb.com.

January Events on the Big Island


WAIMEA OCEAN FILM FESTIVAL

January 1-9, 2019 @ Various Locations

The festival brings a high-powered and non-stop schedule of film, speakers, filmmaker Q&As, exhibits, special events and important conversation to the Big Island of Hawaiʻi every January. In 2019, films and programs run January 1-4 at venues in Waimea, the Mauna Kea Resort and the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaiʻi, before moving to the Four Seasons Resort Hualālai January 5-9. (Waimeaoceanfilm.org)


For more events happening on the Big Island in January, see konaweb.com.

February Events on the Big Island


26th ANNUAL CHERRY BLOSSOM HERITAGE FESTIVAL

February TBD @ Waimea

Each year Waimea celebrates the fleeting bloom of its 60-year-old Japanese cherry trees with hanami, or “flower viewing,” as well as cultural activities throughout South Kohala. Events include Japanese and Hawaiian musical performances, food tastings at the Kohala resorts, and hands-on demonstrations of origami, bonsai, and mochi pounding. Shuttle transportation between events and locations is provided. For more information call (808) 961-8706(Holualoinn.com)


For more events happening on the Big Island in February, see konaweb.com.