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Exploring: Calendar > Big Island > April
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.
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.
Held at the Panaewa Equestrian Center in Hilo, the rodeo's qualifying events begin at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday followed by the main performance at 12 noon each day. Weekend and single day passes can be purchased at the gate. Gate receipts and profits from food booths finance two $2000 college scholarships given each year for Hawaii Island students of Portuguese ancestry. For more information call (808) 938-9567.
MARCH FOR BABIES
March for Babies in Kailua-Kona is a fun and successful fund raising event for the March of Dimes. Join the annual 3.5 mile walk and help in "saving babies, together." Awards and prizes. For more information call (808) 973-2155.
LAVA MAN TRIATHLON
The Annual Lavaman Triathlon and Sports Festival is an extravaganza of sports and fitness. This 10K run, 40K bike and 1.5K swim and Olympic distance course is open to individuals and relay teams of all ages and abilities. It is followed by an awards party and beach barbeque at Anaeho’omalu Bay. For more information call (808) 886-2884.
EARTH DAY FAIR
This environmental education fair features 45+ governmental agency and non-profit exhibitors, environmental videos, entertainers, and native plant distribution. Admission is free. Upper campus of Hawaii Comm. College & UH Hilo. Noon to 4 p.m. For more information call (808) 974-7421.
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.
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