Annual Events on Hawaiʻi Island
Some events you may want to enjoy during your stay. We've listed some of the bigger events, however there are a plethora of smaller events which could be enjoyed. In addition UH Hilo sends a weekly email of events around campus. Be sure to check out these websites for more details:
Iron Man (September/October)
Annually held on Kona side, this event is an intensive three part race which involves swimming, biking and running. Some students have participated in this intense display of athletic prowess. For latest dates and information please visit the Ironman Triathalon Website
You like outdoor concerts and block parties? You'll love this event! Downtown Hilo shuts down and the stages come out featuring a range of performances and bands.
The University also has a smaller event usually in January.
For latest dates and information please visit the Ho'olaule'a Facebook page
Black and White Night (November)
Put together an outfit or costume of black and white and take part in the strolling party in Downtown Hilo. Shops stay open late, venues are playing all around town, and of course food
For latest dates and information please visit the Hilo's Black and White Night Website.
Moku O Keawe International Hula Festival (November)
Experience hula both in the ancient kahiko and modern 'auana are exhibited in Waikoloa. Hula schools known as Hālau come from all over to perform and compete and share the Hawaiian culture.
For latest dates and information please visit the Moku O Keawe Website
Kona Coffee Cultural Festival
Stock up on your Kona Coffee for finals! Or become a connoisseur of the varieties available.
For latest dates and information please visit the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Website
Panaʻewa Stampede Rodeo (February)
Good old fashioned rodeo, except Hawaiian! Come take part in Waimea's deep rooted Paniolo culture.
For latest dates and information please visit the Panaʻewa Stampede Rodeo Website
Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival (February)
Japan has shared their love for Cherry blossoms in Waimea, come and experience this internationally influenced event and bring your camera!
For latest dates and information please visit the Waimea Cherry Blossom Festival Facebook Page
Great Waikoloa ʻUkulele Festival (March)
What better way to celebrate Hawaiian music than learning more about the ʻukulele!
For latest dates and information please visit the Waikoloa ʻUkulele Festival Website
Merrie Monarch (April)
Deeply rooted in King David Kalākaua's Hawaiian Renaissance was the Merrie Monarch festival held annually in Hilo.
This is the World Competition of Hula. Both the ancient kahiko and modern ʻauana are exhibited at this prestigious event. Hula schools known as Hālau come from Japan, the US mainland and all around the world to participate in this celebration of Hawaiian culture.
Though tickets are sold out within days, sometimes hours of distribution there is a free night which also exhibits other cultures. In 2016 there were dances from Thailand, China, Tahiti, and Maori of New Zealand.
For latest dates and information please visit the Merrie Monarch Festival Website
Big Island Chocolate Festival (April/May) Waikoloa
Cacao makes cocoa, come learn about the farming, sustainability, and all that goes into making the favorite dessert. Tickets also sell out for this event. Need I say more?
For latest dates and information please visit the Big Island Chocolate Festival Website
Kaʻū Coffee Festival (May)
Free music, hula and the chance to meet the families who produce the world famous coffee beans. College students and coffee! Celebrate your all-nighter drink of choice and learn about the varieties of Big Island coffee.
For latest dates and information please visit the Kaʻū Coffee Festival Website
Summer Events (if you're here)
Kamehameha Festival (June)
Come learn about Hawaiian culture and the man who united the islands. Tranditional dance, music, practices, chanta, arts and food are shared and enjoyed by all.
For latest dates and information please visit the Kamehameha Festival Website
Parker Ranch Independence Day Rodeo (July)
The Paniolo or Hawaiian cowboy culture started long before the Wild West. With Community, Sustainability, and local Agriculture as a focal point this ranch puts a rodeo on each summer.
For latest dates and information please visit the Parker Ranch Website
Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park Cultural Festival (July)
Take part in the biodiversity of the Volcano National Park Cultural Festival. Enjoy hula, and try some traditional Hawaiian crafts while learning about conservation and the unique land of lava.
For latest dates and information please visit the Volcano National Park Website