If you’re headed to Hawaii this June, you’ll find loads of special arts and cultural celebrations on the islands. Many of these excellent events and festivals are free. So, let’s take a look at the list of what you’ll find happening on each island.
HAWAII’S BIG ISLAND
Celebration of Hula – “Na ‘olelo o ka pu‘uwai”(June 6 from 5 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.) – Celebrate the arrival of summer with hula, song and chant in a relaxing evening under the stars with family, friends and hula enthusiasts. Includes several Big Island hālau performing kahiko (ancient) and ‘auana (modern) hula. Waikoloa Bowl at Queens’ Gardens, Waikoloa Beach Resort. Free. Call (808) 886-8822 or visit www.waikoloabeachresort.com.
The Brothers Cazimero (June 6 at 8 p.m.) – The brothers Cazimero pioneered a renaissance in Hawaiian culture in the early 1970s, making an indelible mark on contemporary Hawaiian music. Consummate musicians, Robert and Roland, have enjoyed almost four decades of uninterrupted success unrivaled by any other performer in Hawai‘i. Kahilu Theatre in Waimea. Tickets $40 – $45. Call (808) 885-6868 or visit www.kahilutheatre.org.
King Kamehameha Day Celebration (June 10) – Come to the northern tip of the Big Island to honor the legendary Hawaiian king in his North Kohala birthplace. A floral parade, ceremony draping the King’s statue in lei, hula, food booths and musical performances mark this special day. Call (808) 884-5000 or visit www.kamehamehadaycelebration.org.
Kamehameha Festival (June 11 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) – This festival includes two distinct events – The Kamehameha Games and the Ho‘olaule‘a. The Ho‘olaule‘a will focus on the ‘ohana (family) and features Hawaiian music, dance and oli competition. The Games focus on the kāne (men) and feature traditional Hawaiian warrior protocols, competitions, workshops and self improvement presentations. Queen Lili‘uokalani Gardens and Moku Ola (Coconut Island) in Hilo. Free. For information, call (808) 989-4844 or visit www.kamehamehafestival.org.
King Kamehameha Day Parade (June 13 from 9 a.m. to noon) – A beautiful floral parade through the heart of Kailua-Kona honoring the great Hawaiian monarch. Featuring Hawaiian-themed entries, including pā‘ū riders representing all the Hawaiian Islands, bands, hula and community groups. Also food booths, crafts and much more. Ali‘i Drive.
Kohala in Concert (June 13 at 7:30 p.m.) – Kohala’s music is an acoustic blend of island, folk, and jazz guitar that reflects the diverse musical influences of this talented and popular trio. The band has released seven CDs since 1998 and has toured extensively throughout Hawai’i, Japan, and the U.S. Kīlauea Military Camp Theater in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Fee. Call (808) 967-8222 or visit www.volcanoartcenter.org.
“Hawai‘i Nei 2009” Art Show (June 13 – August 2 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily) – This is a unique show of art representing native species, the first juried art exhibition on Hawai‘i Island to celebrate native flora and fauna. The show features artists of all ages working in a wide variety of media. Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Free but Park entrance fees apply. Call (808) 967-7565 or visit www.volcanoartcenter.org.
Na Mea Hawai‘i Hula Kahiko (June 20) – See traditional hula and chant performed outdoors on the hula platform overlooking Kīlauea Crater, featuring Halau Na Pua ‘o Uluhaimalama, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Hawaiian crafts demonstrations at Volcano Art Center Gallery 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Free but Park entry fees apply. Call (808) 967-8222 or visit www.volcanoartcenter.org.
Composing: Decisions of a Songwriter (June 27 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) – In this lecture-demonstration workshop, learn about composing songs with well-known composer Keith Haugen, who shares songs he has composed, from Hawaiian, hapa-haole, and hula to folk and country. Open to all levels, ages 16+. Volcano Art Center‘s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village. Fee. Call (808) 967-8222 or visit www.volcanoartcenter.org.
Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau Annual Cultural Festival (June 27 – 28) – This enjoyable and educational festival is held in Kona at Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, perhaps the premier spot in the state to learn about ancient Hawaiian culture. Demonstrations of – and participation in – numerous Hawaiian arts and lifestyle activities, including net fishing, weaving, food preparation, and much more. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call (808) 328-2326, ext. 32 or visit www.nps.gov/puho.
“Our Songs of Hawai’i” (June 28 at 2 p.m.) – Spend an afternoon with Keith and Carmen Haugen, musical duo that performed in Waikīkī for 35 years. Hear about the Hawaiian language, history, place names, and inspiration behind Keith’s original compositions plus enjoy hula by Carmen. A musical treat! Volcano Art Center‘s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village. Free. Call (808) 967-8222 or visit www.volcanoartcenter.org.
‘Ohana Saturday at Kaua‘i Museum (June 6)– Admission is free for the whole family with special presentations. Call (808) 245-6931 for more information.
Kaua‘i Hula Exhibition (June 20) – An evening of Polynesian history through dance performed by the dancers of Na Hula O Kaohikukapulani at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall. Cultural chants, history and food. Call (808) 335-6466.
Second Annual Red Clay Jazz Festival (June 27 at 6 p.m.) – Enjoy the music of seven musical ensembles including local, stat, and nationally renowned jazz artists. This unique Kaua’i music extravanganza is Kaua’i Concert Association’s commitment to realize the vision of the late Pete Robinson, a veteran Kaua’i Jazz DJ. Through the collaboration of KCA and the W.S. Pete Robinson Fund, the 2nd Annual Red Clay Jazz Festival brings a diverse set of artists to entertain by Kalapaki Bay. This event will be held on the luau grounds of the Kaua’i Marriott Resort and Beach Club in Lihue. Call (808) 245-7363 or visit www.kauai-concert.org.
Maui Film Festival at Wailea (June 17 – 21) – 10th annual festival showcases special movie screenings and premieres under the stars. Contemporary Hawaiian music and The Taste of Wailea. Wailea Resort. Call (808) 579-9244 or visit www.mauifilmfestival.com.
Ki Hoalu Festival (June 28) – 18th annual, free slack key festival featuring an all-star line-up of some of Hawai‘i’s best ki hoalu musicians, with local vendors, arts and crafts, and delicious local-style food. Maui Arts & Cultural Center, A&B Amphitheater. Call (808) 242-SHOW or visit www.mauiarts.org.
“20 Going On 21” (continuing through June 21) – The Contemporary Museum will celebrate its 21st anniversary by honoring contemporary Hawaiian artists during “20 Going On 21: Honoring the Past, Celebrating the Present, Looking to the Future – An Exhibition of Hawai‘i Artists.” The exhibition displays hand-selected pieces by twenty-one different local artists. Call (808) 526-0232 or visit www.tcmhi.org.
“Artists of Hawai‘i” (continuing through August 16) – The state’s oldest, most prestigious juried exhibition returns as a biennial exhibit to the Honolulu Academy of Arts. The juror of the exhibition’s 58th installment is Laura Hoptman, Senior Curator at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York. Call (808) 532-8700 or visit www.honoluluacademy.org.
First Friday Honolulu (June 5 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.) – Downtown-Chinatown Gallery Walk. A self guided tour. Galleries, museums and studios open their doors for an evening celebrating artists, art and art-making of all kinds. Free. For more information, call (808) 521-2903.
Live from the Lawn – Summer Dance Showcase (June 5 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.) – This event features contemporary dance performances by Hawai‘i Ballet, Tau Dance, Iona, Convergence Dance Theatre, Upside Down Dance, and many independent choreographers and dancers. Hawai‘i State Art Museum. Free. Call (808) 586-0900 or visit www.hawaii.gov/sfca.
30th Annual Pan-Pacific Festival: Matsuri in Hawai‘i (June 5 – 7) – This unique festival is a celebration of drums and dance, pageantry and parade featuring Japanese entertainment, music, traditions, food and more! Call (808) 535-9099 or visit www.pan-pacific-festival.com.
King Kamehameha Celebration (June 11) – June 11th of each year was designated a public holiday to honor the memory of Kamehameha the Great, who united all of the Hawaiian islands. Events include a Kamehameha Day parade, arts and crafts displays and a lei draping ceremony. Downtown and Waikīkī. For more information, visit http://hawaii.gov/dags/king_kamehameha_commission/.
Terra Nova (June 11 – 14, 19 – 21, 26 – 28; Thursday – Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 3 p.m.) – Smashbox Presents: Ted Tally’s thrilling play about Amundsen and Scott’s race for the South Pole. The ARTS at Marks Garage. Call 550-TIKS, honoluluboxoffice.com, or at the door 1/2 hour prior to performances. For more information, call (808) 521-2903 or visit www.artsatmarks.com.
Second Saturday (June 13 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) – Bring the kids to this free monthly family event. Have fun and get creative with hands-on arts activities. Learn from artists, craftsmen, and storytellers. Hawai‘i State Art Museum. Call (808) 586-0900 or visit www.hawaii.gov/sfca.
Hawai‘i Craftsmen Raku (June 16 – July 11, Tuesday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.) – Hawai‘i Craftsmen presents: Raku ceramics selected from the annual workshop and festival at Waimanalo Beach Park. Contemporary, functional and traditional Japanese tea-ware and ceramics juried by a well-known visiting artist. The ARTS at Marks Garage. Free. Call (808) 521-2903 or visit www.artsatmarks.com.
Free Third Thursdays at The Contemporary Museum (June 18 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.) – Free entry day at The Contemporary Museum. Bring the family…enjoy the tranquil Nu’umealani Gardens and view the exhibitions in the historic Cooke-Spalding residence. TCM is Hawai‘i’s only museum devoted exclusively to contemporary art. Call (808) 526-1322 or visit www.tcmhi.org.
“Moonlight Mele” concert series (June 25) – The Bishop Museum will kick off its three-part summer concert series, Moonlight Mele, with a performance by award-winning local musician Sean Na‘auao. A talented singer, musician, composer, and producer, Sean, who is a Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award winner, has released over 10 albums in his career and is known for popular hits such as, “Fish and Poi.” This family-friendly concert is presented under the stars on the Great Lawn at Bishop Museum on the last Thursday of each month from June to August. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. for Museum Members and 6:00 p.m. for General Admission. Advance tickets are $15 General; $10 for Bank of Hawai‘i Customers/Employees, Bishop Museum Members, and Military; keiki 3 and under are free. General tickets purchased the day of the event are $20. For more information, call (808) 847-3511 or visit www.bishopmuseum.org.
36th Annual King Kamehameha Hula Competition (June 26 – 27) – Over 20 dance groups from the mainland U.S., Japan, and Hawai‘i compete in both traditional (hula kahiko) and contemporary (hula auana) dance styles. Call (808) 536-6540 or visit www.hulacomp.com.
All events are subject to change, so verify the event details directly with the organizer. Information courtesy of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau.