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Exploring: Calendar > Big Island > March
December through April
HUMPBACK WHALE WATCHING SEASON
Humpbacks begin their southern migration from Alaska to Hawai'i in December every year to give birth to their calves as well as to mate. Whales stay through about April, but dates can vary somewhat.
Various Saturdays Throughout the Year
NA MEA HAWAII HULA KAHIKO PERFORMANCE
See traditional hula performed outdoors in a natural setting overlooking Kilauea Crater in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. Bring sitting mat, hat, sunscreen, rain gear. Contact the Art Center for dates. Free Hawaiian crafts demonstrations at Volcano Art Center Gallery (park entrance fees may apply). For more information call Volcano Art Center at (808) 967-8222.
One of Hawaii's most renowned instruments takes center stage at this annual celebration featuring ukulele musicians and master ukulele makers. Located at Kings' Shops in Waikoloa. For more information call (808) 886-8811.
Pua Plantasia is Kona Outdoor Circle's major annual fundraising event. A gala dinner is followed by live and silent auctions. Many vendors from around the island sell plants and plant-related items. Donated plants are for sale, as well as T-shirts, jams, jellies & chutneys, and home-baked goodies. Educational seminars and entertainment are included. For more information call (808) 329-7286.
KONA STAMPEDE RODEO
Since 1964 the Kona Roping Club has hosted the Kona Stampede Rodeo. The cowboys of that era recognized the need for the community to get involved in the sport of rodeo as a way to keep kids interested in staying with the cowboy life. The Kona Roping Club and about 250 contestants will participate in the annual Kona Stampede Rodeo. The rodeo includes in events seen only in Hawaii, such as the Po‘o Wai U and the action-packed Double Mugging. Other events are bull riding, calf roping, dally team roping, dally team 90s, and for the wahines (ladies), calf mugging and breakaway roping. For the kids 8 and under there is barrel racing. The action begins at 8:00 a.m. Saturday with the slack roping to qualify for the show and the rodeo starts promptly at noon. Sunday the rodeo starts at noon. For more information call (808) 323 2388.
BIG ISLAND INTERNATIONAL MARATHON
An annual 26.2 mile marathon, 10.8 mile run and 3.1 mile fitness run/walk. Run the coast of old Hawaii along the Pacific Ocean, through tropical rainforests, past exotic waterfalls, and along black lava beaches to finish at historic Hilo Bay Front. Hilo is located in one of the cooler lush areas of Hawaii, which translates into good running conditions. 10.8 Mile runners run the first 10.8 miles with the marathoners. The 3.1 mile fitness run/walk is from Hilo Bay around Queen Liliuokalani Gardens. For more information call (808) 969-7400.
SPRING DANCE CONCERT
Annual dance at the Kilauea Military Camp Theater, Hawaii Volcanoes Nat'l. Park, featuring Big Island choreographers and dancers in a variety of dance styles. Admission fee. For more information call (808) 967-7565.
KONA CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL
The Kona Chocolate Festival promises chocolate lovers an outrageous treat for the senses at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort and Spa. Offering champagne, wine and live music under the starry Hawaiian sky, the Kona Chocolate Festival gathers together Big Island chefs, caterers, ice cream and candy makers for a night filled with outrageous chocolate decadence. This dream evening includes a chocolate tasting competition, champagne, wine and beer tasting, dancing, plus a silent auction with exciting items such as helicopter, swim with dolphins, and whale-watching excursions, nights at local hotels, dinners at local restaurants, and much more. There is a fee for admission. For tickets or more information call (808) 640-5500.
ALOHA HAWAIIAN NIGHT
A special evening, presented annually, this hula and Hawaiian music festival showcases the native Hawaiian culture of the Kona area. Features hula, Hawaiian music, local food, lei making, Hawaiian-made crafts, silent auction. A benefit to help Kailua Pier beautification efforts. Sponsored by Destination Kona Coast, Kailua Village Merchants and County of Hawaii. Free, at the Kailua Pier. For more information call (808) 334-0562.
Late March to Early April
THE MERRIE MONARCH FESTIVAL
The Merrie Monarch Festival is a week-long cultural festival beginning with a Hoolaulea (music festival) at the Hilo Civic Center. The festival includes art exhibits, craft fairs, demonstrations, performances, a parade that emphasizes the cultures of Hawaii , and a three-day hula competition. Free noon-day entertainment can be found at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel and the Naniloa Volcanoes Resort. The festival is considered the world's premier forum for people of all ages to display their skills and knowledge of the art of ancient and modern hula. In preparation of the Merrie Monarch Festival, hula studios and instructors in Hawaii and on the U.S. Mainland hold classes, workshops, and seminars throughout the year to teach the art of hula, the meaning of Hawaiian chants and songs, the Hawaiian language, the making of Hawaiian clothing and crafts, and the history of the Hawaiian people. All events are free except for the hula competitions. The big Merrie Monach Royal Parade ends the festival through Hilo on Saturday morning. For more information call (808) 935-9168 between 10 am and 2 pm Hawaii time.
ART EXHIBIT AT WAILOA CENTER
Monthly rotating art exhbits. Hours are Mon, Tue, Thur & Fri from 8:30 am to 4:30pm. Wed from noon to 4:30 pm. Saturday 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Admission free; reservations suggested for schools and groups. For more information call (808) 933-0416.
AFTER DARK IN THE PARK
A series of free evening programs on topics of geology, biology, Hawaiian culture and history at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. 7 p.m.
Every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Third Saturday of the Month (ongoing)
NELHA PUBLIC PRESENTATIONS
Visit the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority, recognized worldwide as a unique and innovative business, research and science technology park. Ocean technology harnesses Arctic-cold deep sea water for the future of mankind. Keahole Point at 10:00 a.m. $8 per adult and $5 for seniors and children under 12. For reservations or more information call (808) 329-8073.
Every Friday, January through September (ongoing)
CULTURAL DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM
Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site, Kawaihae, S. Kohala. Programs on Hawaiian crafts. Footpath, guided and self-guided tours, exhibits and interpretive talks. For more information call (808) 882-7218 ext. 23.
All Month (ongoing)
KONA HISTORICAL SOCIETY TOURS
Location: Kalukalu. Offering a variety of guided tours and lectures, including the Historic Kailua Village Walking Tour, the Kona Coffee Living History Farm Tour, Captain Cook Lecture and more. For reservations or more information call (808) 323-2006.
All Month (ongoing)
MOKUPAPAPA: DISCOVERY CENTER
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Mokupapapa: Discovery Center for Hawaii's Remote Coral Reefs, located in the S. Hata building, Hilo. The 4,000 sq. ft. museum combines interactive exhibits and video vignettes and features a 2,500-gallon salt water aquarium containing colorful tropical fish and coral found in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Free to the public and open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
monthly and daily (ongoing)
VOLCANO ART CENTER
Programs to perpetuate the artistic and cultural heritage of Hawai‘i's people and environment through activities in the visual, literary, and performing arts. It is centered at Kilauea, within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, and maintains a retail arts and crafts gallery in the historic 1877 Volcano House Hotel, adjacent to the Kilauea Visitor Center, under a cooperating agreement with the National Park Service. Volcano Art Center presents programs at the Kilauea Military Camp Theater, at the Volcano Art Center Gallery and adjacent hula platform, and at the Old Japanese Schoolhouse in Volcano Village. For more information call (808) 967-8222.
Every Day of the Week (Except Christmas & New Year's) (ongoing)
PANAEWA RAINFOREST ZOO
The Zoo, located in Hilo, has hours from 9-4 daily. Petting zoo and daily tiger feeding. Free. For more information call (808) 959-7224.
Every 1st and 3rd Saturday (ongoing)
THE UNIVERSE TONIGHT
Onizuka Center for International Astronomy, Mauna Kea. 6:00 p.m. with stargazing after. For more information call (808) 961-2180.
Every Friday (ongoing)
Aloha Fridays at the Keauhou Shopping Center (Kona) feature free ukulele lessons at 10am (advanced), 11am (beginners). Please bring your own ukulele. At noon there are free lei making lessons (needles and flowers provided). From 6pm to 7pm watch a free Polynesian show by Polynesian Paradise. For more information call (808) 322-3000 ext. 222.
One Sunday mid-month (ongoing)
KOKUA KAILUA VILLAGE STROLL
One Sunday each month from 1pm to 6pm, Alii Drive along scenic Kailua Bay in Historic Kailua Village becomes a festive pedestrian-only walkway and marketplace. Enjoy free music, artists, and friendly merchants open for great shopping and delicious dining. At 4pm, there is a free Hawaiian music concert on the lawn at Hulihee Palace honoring Hawaiian royalty. Bring your own mat or chair and they will be checked for free while you stroll Alii Drive. Sponsored by Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, Destination Kona Coast, Kailua Village Merchants Association, Kailua Village Business Improvement District, Hulihee Palace, & Pacific Radio Group. For more information call (808) 326-7820.