What can you do in April in West Hawaii?
Besides taking photos with the Easter Bunny? Well, lounging on the beach is always an option! I WILL say however, that you should know that we had a fair amount of sand erosion over the past few months with high surf taking a toll on how much sand there is at La’aloa/Magic Sands and Kua Bay/Manini o’wali. Read to the bottom for a local tip about ocean safety.
Besides being able to run in one of the oldest races on the island, listen to free music, visit the Easter Bunny and do crafts, and eat all the chocolate you want, you can experience the Merrie Monarch Festival in April. You have to have tickets in advance to see the hula shows, but you can still go and enjoy the crafts, parade and overall cultural excitement and fun in Hilo during the week where hula competitors come from all over the islands to compete! Twenty three halau will be participating this year. Please visit www.merriemonarch.com for more details.
Here are some of the fun things to do in April and May 2023:
April 2, 2023
West Hawai’i County Band Presents a Free Concert
The West Hawai’i County Band will present an hour of free band music from 4:00- 5:00 pm at Honu’s Restaurant at the King Kamehameha Hotel. This is part of the monthly Free Concert Series in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island. Come enjoy the band playing music selected from its extensive repertoire, including; marches, show tunes, jazz favorites, the classics and Hawaiian traditional tunes. Each monthly concert is an hour in length presented by musicians from our own community. For more information: http://www.westhawaiiband.com (808) 322-7085.
More Free Music!
April 3 from 6-7 pm
The Kings Shops in Waikoloa Resort is featuring the Kamuela Philharmonic for KONA BRASS!
April 5 from 5:30-6:30 pm
Keoua Honaunau Canoe Club’s 40th Annual Mac-A-Thon Race
April 8th 12:00-2:30 pm
Keauhou Shopping Center
Cute as a Bunny Crafts:
Local children and families can explore their creativity with Easter-themed crafts from 12-2:30 pm, during the same time as Photos with the Easter Bunny. Hosted through KidX Club®, a program that offers free events to encourage learning and curiosity, Cute as a Bunny Crafts will focus on Easter themed crafts and activities.
Photos with the Easter Bunny and Cute as a Bunny Crafts require an Eventbrite registration. Registration link will go live on Monday, April 3, at 8 am. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/easter-at-keauhou-tickets-568776625197
For questions regarding Keauhou Shopping Center’s Eventbrite registration requirements, please call 808-322-3000.
April 8 10 am -2 pm
Meet & Greet with Kalei Cottontail
Hop on over for an egg-citing meet and great with Kalei Cottontail! Pictures are FREE and first-come, first-serve.
Easter Scavenger Egg-venture
Pick-up a scavenger hunt form at the Info Booth and embark on an egg hunt around Queens’ Marketplace. Once you’ve found all the eggs, bring the form to the Info Booth to pick up a sweet prize!
Chalk-full of Fun & Lawn Games
Look out for fun sidewalk chalk art and games around the Coronation Pavilion! Keiki are encouraged to get crafty and fill the pavilion area with their colorful drawings. Drawing with chalk is permitted in the designated area at the center.
Find the Golden Egg
Follow us on Instagram @QueensMarketplace to be one of the first to get a clue on to find the Golden Egg hidden somewhere within Queens’ Marketplace. The clue will be posted on April 8. The winner will get an Easter basket filled with goodies from Queens’ Marketplace merchants. Must be 18 years and older to participate.
April 9-15, 2023
MERRIE MONARCH FESTIVITIES AT GRAND NANILOA HOTEL, HILO
To honor the 60th anniversary of the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival, the Grand Naniloa Hotel will present six consecutive days of celebration from Monday, April 10 to Saturday, April 15. In conjunction with Hilo town events, guests and locals will enjoy engaging entertainment, a vibrant Mākeke (marketplace) featuring local artists and vendors, food and drinks, as well as a separate ticketed concert featuring top-selling Hawaiian vocalist Amy Hānaialiʻi. Courtesy of the non-profit Merrie Monarch organization, Grand Naniloa Hotel Hilo will showcase daily Hawaiian music and hula performances. Additionally, attendees are invited to immerse themselves in Hawaiian culture at the hotel’s Mākeke, taking place Wednesday through Friday, in the hotel’s expansive event spaces including the Palm Lounge, Ho’omalimali, Sandalwood and the Crown Room. Each day from 10 am to 3 pm, the market will feature a treasure trove of beautiful handmade Hawaiian products including apparel, and jewelry, and pūpū, cocktails, wine, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase. Night owls can continue the festivities at the hotel’s lobby bar until midnight each day. The Mākeke is open to the community and admission is free. Complimentary self-parking is located across the street at the Grand Naniloa Golf Course parking lot. Please visit the hotel’s website for more entertainment details.
April 13-15, 2023
ANNUAL HAWAII ARTS, CRAFTS & FOOD FESTIVAL – HILO
The Hawaii Arts, Crafts & Food Festival, held during Merrie Monarch Week, showcases some of the finest artisans, crafters, gift and food vendors throughout the state and the mainland. This event celebrates the artistic and cultural heritage of Hawaii’s diverse people, its environment, and its food. Time: 9am-4pm at Nani Mau Gardens, 421 Makalika St. Hilo, 96720. Free prize giveaways, live performances and music throughout the event. Admission is free. For more information, call (808) 981-0518,
April 22, 2023
MAKAHA SONS BENEFIT CONCERT FOR KONA COMMUNITY HOSPITAL – ALOHA THEATRE, KAINALIU
Kona Hospital Foundation is happy to announce the return of The Mākaha Sons, one of Hawaii’s premier musical groups, to the Aloha Theatre. 2019 was the last time the Kona Hospital Foundation hosted a benefit concert to help their mission of improving the Kona Community Hospital for the entire community. The Mākaha Sons will be in concert on April 22nd, doors are at 6:30pm. Music will be from 7:30-9:30pm with a 15 minute intermission. All proceeds from ticket sales and opportunity drawing will go towards the Kona Hospital Foundation. Please visit the ticket sales page for more details.
April 16th, 2023
Kokua Kailua Village Stroll
Kokua Kailua, the popular monthly village stroll on Alii Drive, is April 16th from 1 pm to 6 pm. Kona’s Historic Kailua Village closes to vehicular traffic and becomes a festive, pedestrian-only outdoor marketplace that makes for a fun family-friendly day. Leashed dogs are welcome to stroll too. Kokua Kailua stretches from Kailua Pier through Historic Kailua Village to Hualalai Road. Highlights include nearly 100 vendor booths showcasing the work of local artisans and crafters, musicians, and merchants offering a fantastic shopping experience and delicious dining options.
NEW to the Stroll this month: Kokua Kailua debuts a free one-hour Spring Concert featuring Kulāiwi-Native Lands. The three award winning Native Hawaiians Kawika Kahiapo, Lehua Kalima Alvarez and Shawn Kekoa Pimental will perform songs from their new multiple award-winning self-titled album, Kulāiwi-Native Lands! Kulāiwi was awarded the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts 2022 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards for Album of the Year, Group of the Year, Hawaiian Album of the Year, Hawaiian Engineering Award of the Year. Everyone is invited to the Kokua Kailua Spring Concert happening on Sunday, April 16 starting at 4 pm at Emma’s Square on Alii Drive.
April 28-29, 2023
BIG ISLAND CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL – WAIKOLOA BEACH RESORT
The delicious flavors and aromas of chocolate will “Indulge the Senses” at the Big Island Chocolate Festival April 28-29 at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. The “Indulge the Senses with Chocolate” theme marks the festival’s 10th anniversary. In-person activities include culinary demonstrations for the home cook, cacao growing and processing seminars by industry experts, a new VIP-PLUS pre-gala Sunset & Pupu Pairing and a festive evening gala with culinary booths, chocolate fountain, entertainment, dancing, a silent auction and some surprises! Guests can enjoy unlimited wine, beer and a custom spritzer by Ola Brew, iced tea and coffee. At the gala, a panel of invited judges and attendees will again vote on best sweet and savory selections while culinary stations will vie in a contest for Best Decorated Booth to this year’s sensory theme. A photo booth will provide fun, playful props geared to the “Indulge the Senses” event theme. Details: BigIslandChocolateFestival.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 30, 2023 2-7 pm
Waikoloa Lei Day Festival
The Waikoloa Lei Day Festival is back for the second year to celebrate the art and history of lei-making in Hawaii. This resort-wide event will feature festivities and entertainment at the Queens’ Marketplace, Waikoloa Beach Marriott, and Kings’ Shops. Join us at Queens’ Marketplace from 2-7 PM for free lei-making, demonstrations, live performances, sidewalk sales and more! Plus, don’t forget to visit the Info Booth to enter for a chance to win a Haku Lei or Lauhala Punch Lei!
Honoka’a Western Week
Honoka’a Western Week rides into town May 19-29, 2023, with a roundup of activities that celebrate the paniolo heritage of Hamakua.On Friday the 19th, come to Honoka’a Peoples’ Theatre for a favorite Western movie followed by line dancing for everyone till 9 p.m.
Visitors are invited to put on their best boots and Stetsons, and stroll on down Mamanae Street to enjoy the decorations and take shots at colorful “photostops” designed and painted by local artists. Look for an epic block party with dancing in the streets, a day-long Saddle Up Saturday with vendors, food booths, cowboy games, music, silent auction, and more. And don’t miss the Saloon Girls and Cowboys Got Talent contest. Western Week concludes with the Hawai’i Saddle Club Scholarship Rodeo, Sunday-Monday. Follow HonokaaWesternWeek on Facebook to keep up with the latest.
Spring Ocean Safety Tip: When there is more sand in the ocean than there is on the beach, the water takes on a GORGEOUS blue hue, but it has its dangers of surf breaks that can slam you down in shallow water. Listen to the life guards as there is exposed lava rock. If you have visited before, you may not have known there was lava where you were standing and now it’s exposed as the landscape has changed. As we head towards summer, the beaches should return to their velvety softness and sandy glory!
The events calendar is brought to you by Eric and Julie Ziemelis, Realtors, Keller Williams Big Island/365Hawaii Group. We help folks not only buy homes on the island, but offer moving resources/guides/books, community building opportunities, private events, market update video reports, and our services to ensure you have not just a great experience in getting into a home, but get the resources and connections you need afterwards to help make your life on the island more meaningful and connected. Email Julie at Julie@Ziemelis.com for more info!