Top 10 Big Island Events & Festivals 2022-2023

There is no shortage of Big Island events and activities to keep any visitor busy for the length of their stay. But if you are a repeat visitor, or if you are just looking for something unique to make your Big Island getaway even more memorable, you might consider attending one of the special events that are happening here throughout the year. Here are some of our favorites.

If you are looking to enjoy one of these fun Big Island events or festivals in 2022 or 2023, book a room at our Big Island bed and breakfast.

 Kau Coffee FestivalApril-June: Virtual Ka’u Coffee Festival

Learn about the history of Ka’u coffee and what makes it so special, meet the hard-working farmers through informative farmer profiles and enjoy music and hula by practitioners of the Ka’u region-some are Ka’u coffee growers! Also on tap is the Ka’u Coffee College webinar with educational forums. Festival-goers may also access additional content created for the Virtual Festival, including a how-to Ka’u coffee brewing demo and a coffee farm tour.

May 7: Reggae on the Runway

All ages reggae show at Old Kona Airport from 3 pm to 10 pm. Maoli headlines with live performances by FIJI, Fia, Johnny Suite, The Steppas, One Rhythm, Lopaka Roots and Ocean Grown. Purchase tickets here.

Big Island Chocolate Festival

Photo Courtesy of Big Island Chocolate Festival

May 13-14: Big Island Chocolate Festival Reimagined: Farm to Table Eco-Affair

Hosted at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort. The festival will include factory farm tours, cacao farm seminars, culinary demonstrations, a fund-raising gala and a silent auction. Tickets include a four-course dinner that includes a dessert platter. Unlimited beer and wine, plus a chocolate fountain. Various ticket packages are available online, availability is limited.

Wayne Toups

Photo Courtesy of Waynetoupsmusic.com

June 4: Big Island Jazz & Blues Festival, South Kohala

The annual Big Island Jazz & Blues Festival is held ocean-side at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. It features a weekend of events, the highlight of which is a full day of performances by award-winning artists from around the world. This year’s lineup is still taking shape, but is set to include Wayne Toups, Donald Harrison, the Iguanas, Dale Spalding, Skip Martin, Javon Jackson, Eric Marienthal, John Keawe, Sarah Bethany and David Scott Enos. Check bigislandjazzandbluesfestival.com periodically for updates and to purchase tickets.

Fireknife Thrower

Photo Courtesy of Alexandra Rowe

June 10-12: Hawaii Kuauli Pacific & Asia Cultural Festival

A celebration of Hawaii Island and its beauty as a cultural melting pot, the festival is a culturally based experience for both residents and visitors. It is organized as a combined multi-generational effort including members of the community from all spheres of influence – providing them with a platform to showcase the gifts and talents of cultures present in Hawaii. This 3-day event will include food, fashion, cultural expressions, hula and cultural workshops.

For in-person ticket information visit HiKuauli.com or attend virtually on facebook.com/HiKuauli.

King Kamehameha DayJune 11: King Kamehameha Day Celebration Parade and Hoolaulea

The Hawaiian community celebrates its history, legends, music, hula, and traditional crafts in honor of Hawaii’s first King, Kamehameha I. There is a heritage cultural parade on Ali’i Drive starting at 9 a.m. with more than a hundred horses. The floral parade will feature a hula halau, equestrian units, marching bands, a horse-drawn carriage, and more. A free concert featuring Hawaiian singer-songwriter, Kainani Kahaunaele will take place at the Hoolaulea right after the parade at Hulihee Palace. Also performing will be Hula Halau Kaeakahelelani.

There will be a Hawaiian Arts and Crafts Fair in historic Kailua Village from 9 am to 4 pm. Includes traditional craft demonstrations and the Hawaiian Pau special exhibit. Features include traditional crafts, such as Lauhala, Koa woodworks, designer Hawaiian clothing, carvings, original paintings, and photography.

July 30-Aug 7: 61st Annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament

Experience the tradition of big Marlin fishing aboard some of Kona’s finest fishing fleet, captains and crews all with the chance of capturing the HIBT’s prestigious Governor’s trophy. Since its inception, the tournament has spotlighted Kona as the fishing destination and more recently, encouraged fish conservation by implementing its tag and release point-scoring program and its successful satellite tagging.

Not able to join onboard? Hang out by the Honokohau Habor weigh station in the early afternoon as the fishermen bring in their catches.

Wahine Canoe Racing

Photo Courtesy of Charla Photography

September 1-5: Queen Lili’uokalani Canoe Races, South Kona

Kai Opua Canoe Club, one of the oldest outrigger canoe clubs will host the legendary Queen Liliuokalani Canoe Races, the world’s Largest Outrigger Canoe Race. Paddlers, families, and visitors from around the world are welcomed for races following a historically and culturally significant course running between Kamakahonu Beach in Kailua Bay and Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park beginning on Saturday, September 3. Watch the start of the race at the Kailua Pier or at the finish line in Puuhonua O Honaunau. See the full schedule here.

Other races include double-hull canoe races and Koa canoe long-distance races. Other Queen Liliuokalani Canoe Race events include Historic Kailua Village Cultural Walk, on Thursday morning followed by the Cultural Fair, and Saturday’s torchlight parade at sunset.

September 18: 25th Annual Slack-key Guitar Festival “Kona Style”

The Festival will feature some of Hawaii’s finest artists in Slack Key Guitar. Goes from 1 pm to 5 pm at the Outrigger Kona Resort & Spa. Featured artists include Ledward Kaapana, George Kuo, Kawika Kahiapo, Kailua Moon, Dwight Kanae, Stephen Inglis, Kamuela Kahoano and others. Native crafters along and food vendors to be determined. More details to follow at facebook.com/Slackkeyfestivals.

Ironman Bike RiderOctober 6-8: Ironman World Championship

Professional and age-group triathletes from around the world compete for the Ironman World Championship. The legendary course takes athletes through barren lava fields and provides the setting for the ultimate test of strength, grit and heart while calling upon athletes to find the spirit of aloha within themselves. This two-day event includes the professional women’s race on Thursday, October 6, 2022 and the professional men’s race on Saturday, October 8, 2022. Age groupers distributed between the two days. To volunteer, show support, or watch the races visit ironman.com/im-world-championship-2022.

November 4-13: 51st Annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, Kona & Holualoa

A celebration of Kona’s world-famous coffee-honoring pioneers, farmers, artisans and brewers. Kona’s annual coffee harvest has sustained this agricultural community and the community gathers to celebrate every November. Details to follow at konacoffeefest.com.

December, Dates TBD: Holualoa Village Music & Light Festival

The annual lighting of the village Christmas Tree here in Holualoa is celebrated with an evening of music, open galleries along the main street, and an appearance by Santa. Everything can be reached with a quick walk from the Holualoa Inn, and the festival makes for a charming evening stroll among the artist’s shops and music venues. For more information, you can contact the Holualoa Village Ohana at (808) 322-8484.

Cherry Blossom Heritage FestivalFebruary: Dates TBD: Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival, Waimea

Each year Waimea celebrates the fleeting bloom of its 60-year-old Japanese cherry trees with hanami, or “flower viewing,” as well as cultural activities throughout South Kohala. Events include Japanese and Hawaiian musical performances, food tastings at the Kohala resorts, and hands-on demonstrations of origami, bonsai, and mochi pounding. For more information call (808) 961-8706.