Top Festivals on Hawaii’s Big Island

Kona Coffee Festival Parade
Hawaii County Band marching in the Kona Coffee Festival Parade

We continue our series of annual Hawaii festivals with a stop on the Big Island. This list includes the top ten annual festivals on Hawaii Island.

Please note that this post was originally published in 2012 and the festival dates mentioned here reflect 2012 dates. That being said, you can usually expect that these festivals will be held at roughly the same time. The links should provide updated information.

Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival
Early February
As the cherry blossoms bloom along Waimea’s Church Row Park, enjoy multi-cultural performing arts, hands-on demonstrations and craft and food booths
Website details from 2012 event

Laupahoehoe Music Festival
Mid-February at Laupahoehoe Point Beach Park
This annual scholarship fundraiser features Hawaiian music, hula performances and food.

Annual Kona Brewers Festival
March 10 in 2012
Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel
The 17th annual Kona Brewers Festival indulges craft beer aficionados on Hawaii’s Big Island Saturday, March 10, 2012, tapping up 70 types of ales and lagers served alongside a cornucopia of island-style cuisine from 30 Hawaii chefs. The sell-out event features craft beer, gourmet food, live music and entertainment outdoors.

Merrie Monarch Festival
April 8-14 in 2012
Edith Kanakaole Stadium, Hilo
An internationally acclaimed hula celebration and competition in honor of King David Kalakaua. The week-long festivities include craft fairs, art and hula shows, a grand parade through Hilo town, and conclude with the Miss Aloha Hula Competition, as well as kahiko (ancient) and auana (modern) group hula competitions.

Annual Big Island Film Festival
May 24-28 in 2012
Mauna Lani Resort
This “Talk Story” film festival is a celebration for narrative filmmakers and their short and feature films. Venues that celebrate the beauty of our island and free parking for our guests enhance the experience.

Independence Day Celebrations
July 4th
Various Hawaii Island locations
Hawaii’s Big Island is definitely a great place to be for July 4th. You’ll find all sorts of unique Independence Day celebrations including rodeos, parades and, of course, fireworks. At, we publish the most comprehensive list of July 4th events – for example, see Hawaii’s Big Island July 4th Fireworks & Events.

Hilo Orchid Show and Sale
Early August
Exotic orchids are on display in Hilo. See this link for more information.

40th Annual Ho‘oku‘ikahi Establishment Day Hawaiian Cultural Festival
August 11-12 in 2012
Pu‘ukohola Heiau National Historic Site
The public is invited to experience Royal Court ceremonies, traditional warrior exhibitions, cultural demonstrations, traditional crafts, music, games, double-hulled canoe rides, traditional food tasting and many more activities.

Hawaii Island Festival – 30 Days of Aloha
August 25-September 28 in 2012
Various locations throughout Hawaii Island
For 30 days, this month-long celebration offers events celebrating the Hawaiian culture and tradition

Annual Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range
September 21 in 2012
Hilton Waikoloa Village
Besides offering delicious “tastes” of dishes using locally produced, grass-fed meats and fresh fruits and veggies, the popular event also gives attendees the opportunity to meet the people who are growing our food.

Annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival
Kailua-Kona, November 2-11 in 2012
The 42nd annual, two-week celebration of the multi-ethnic heritage of Kona coffee pioneers, featuring over thirty events, including the crowning of Miss Kona Coffee and Miss Aloha Hawaii. This is the oldest product festival in Hawaii, and is also the only coffee festival in the United States.

If you can’t include any of the festivals we’ve mentioned, don’t worry, there’s almost always a celebration of some kind happening on Hawaii’s Big Island. To find out what special events might be going on during your vacation, visit and use the Vacation Directory from the right column. Be sure to click on the Events tab first, then enter your desired dates.

Mahalo to our friends at the Big Island Visitors Bureau with their assistance of this list.

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