I’m in my early 30s, so naturally a lot of my conversations lately have been about how great of a place the Big Island is to raise a family. There’s something about the spirit of the people, the cycle of generosity, and the Island in general, that makes it a wonderful place to live.
Have you ever read Heads by Harry by Lois Yamanaka? Its title is named after the Hilo family’s (fictional) taxidermy shop, a place for regulars to drink beer, eat smoked meat, and talk story — basically come together and enjoy life.
When I was living in Vietnam, I witnessed something similar: there were open cafés everywhere, full of regulars coming to spend their afternoons and talk story (likely with beer and cigarettes).
There’s something special about having places to come together. To be a regular somewhere and get to know the people around you and behind the counter.
So I ask myself: what’s happening on the Big Island?
It’s a question you might ask yourself, too — whether you’re looking for somewhere to spend quality time with friends, somewhere interesting to go on a date, or a fun event to take your family.
Here are a few things happening on the Big Island this week. This is by no means an all-encompassing list, but a few ideas of things you can do this week:
- Thurs March 23: Award-winning slackkey artist Keoki Kahumoku, 5:30-7:30pm at Pāpaʻaloa Country Store.
- Fri-Sun March 24-26: Kona Steel Guitar Festival at Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa in Keauhou.
- Fri March 24: CHVRCH, 5-10pm at Palace Theater Lobby in Hilo. Free music event with food + beverage available for purchase. Limited table seating available for purchase.
- Fri March 24: Vinyl Pirates, 5:30-7:30pm at Pāpaʻaloa Country Store. Rock nʻ roll classics!
- Sat March 25: Saddle Road Band , 8-11pm at Lava Shack Pāhoa. Good oleʻ country music! No cover charge.
- Sun March 26: Violinist Sirena Huang presented by Kamuela Philharmonic, 2pm at Kahilu Theatre in Kamuela. Tix are $35-$65.
Art, Comedy + Entertainment
- Thurs-Sun March 23-26: The Prom at East Hawaii Cultural Center in Hilo. Thurs-Sat at 7pm and Sunday at 3pm. A musical comedy that follows a troupe of self-obsessed theatre stars as they swarm into a small conservative Indiana town in support of a high-school girl who wants to take her girlfriend to the prom. Tix are $23 general admission.
- Thurs-Sat March 23-25: Big Island Art Fair at Kahilu Town Hall in Waimea. Family friendly art event with local art for sale. Demonstrations and prizes! Thursday 10-5pm, Friday 10-6pm, and Saturday 9-4pm.
- Thurs & Sat March 23 & 25: The Quiet Girl, 7pm at Palace Theatre. A quiet, neglected girl is sent away from her dysfunctional family to live with foster parents for the summer in rural Ireland 1981. Tix are $10 general and $9 for seniors, students and veterans.
- Sat March 25: Andrew Joyce and Friends, Kona Standup Saturday, 7:30-9pm at Kona Elks Lodge. Tix are $15.
- Sat March 25: Aquaman, Saturday Movies Under the Stars, 7-10pm at King Kamehameha Beach Resort. Free.
- Sat March 25: Everything Everywhere All at Once, 2:30pm at Palace Theater in Hilo.
- Sun March 26: Dog Film Festival, 2:30 or 7pm at Palace Theater in Hilo. A program of 6 short films for the dog lover. Tix are $10 general admission or $12 day of show.
Food + Family
- The Spoon Shop Kona. Unique, hands-on cooking classes. On Sat March 25, join their ʻulu class! Or, sign up for their tastes of Vietnam cooking class in April.
- Fri March 24: Food Truck Friday at Target parking lot in Kailua-Kona. 4-8pm every Friday.
- Sat March 25: Keiki Fun Fair at YWCA of Hawai’i Island Preschool in Hilo. 9-1pm. Carnival games, food, crafts, silent auction, and more!
- Fri March 24: Fafaga i ʻUpu: Drawing on Linguistic Research to Inform Language Pedagogy with Dr. Grant Muāgututiʻa, 4-5pm at Lumi Pāhiahia room at Haleʻōlelo, UH Hilo.
- Sat March 25: Safety & Security at Kona Dance & Performing Arts Center, 12:30-2pm in Kealakekua. Learn the invaluable life skill of self-defense including footwork patterns and escapes from grabs. For wahine ages 15+. Tix are $20 pre-register and $25 at the door.
- Sun March 26: Silent Disco, Wim Hof Breathwork Workshop, & Sound Healing, at a private location 1 mile north of Holualoa. 4:30pm. Tix are $40-50.
- Tues Mar 28: Fireside Chat with Kalisi Mausio, Founder & CEO of Hawai’i Farm Trails, 4:30-6:30pm at Mokupāpapa Discovery Center in Hilo. Hear from Kalisi about her entrepreneurial journey and how she’s strengthening local ag in Hawai’i. Co-hosted by Startup Hawai’i and Wailoa Ventures.
- Sun June 4: King Kamehameha Awesome Athletes Inclusive Canoe Race, 9am-3pm at Hilo Bayfront. Volunteers including land support, transfer team, and fundraising are needed. Submit your interest to volunteer by April 30!
Thank you for reading the first edition of Big Island Beat! What do you think? What did I miss? And, what else do you want to know about the Big Island? Let me know what you think → firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ll see you next Wednesday.
P.S. Happy happy birthday to my fiancé, Keola! Youʻre a special human being and I appreciate your presence, love, and support ♥