FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SIZZLIN’ APRIL NEWS FROM THE ISLAND OF HAWAII
Island of Hawaii (April 2, 2019) – As summer nears, there’s no better time to plan your next vacation to the island of Hawaii, where Hawaiian culture is celebrated and perpetuated through various festivals, events, ambassadors and activities. Visitors of all ages can learn about the island’s history, diverse culture and one-of-a-kind experiences by diving into the latest information and offerings below.
CELEBRATING HAWAIIAN CULTURE
On June 11, the North Kohala Kamehameha Day Celebration will honor and celebrate King Kamehameha I, who united the Hawaiian Islands in 1795. The festivities will begin at 8 a.m. with a lei-draping ceremony, hula, history and music, at the original King Kamehameha I statue in Kapaau. A traditional pau (skirted horseback riders) parade, with horses and riders adorned in flowers, foliage, and colors to represent each of the Hawaiian Islands, will follow from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Visitors can also enjoy the hoolaulea (celebration), including entertainment, crafts and food from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Kamehameha Park. For more information, visit www.kamehamehadaycelebration.org.
Additional King Kamehameha Day celebrations and activities will be held on the island of Hawaii.
- On June 8, the Kamehameha Day Celebration Parade in Kailua-Kona will commence at 9 a.m., followed by festivities at Hulihee Palace. For more information, visit www.konaparade.org.
- The Kamehameha Festival will take place at the King Kamehameha I statue at Wailoa River State Park in Hilo from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m on June 11. The festival will feature a lei draping ceremony and various activities, craft vendors, music and food. For more information, visit www.kamehamehafestival.org.
- On Tuesday, June 11 in honor of King Kamehameha Day, Four Seasons Resort Hualalai will host a "kakahiaka (morning) greeting" at 5:30 a.m. at Wedding Tree followed by two lecture sessions at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. in Ronnie's Garden. The resort’s mea hookipa staff will share "Ola e Kamehameha I," the history and story of Hawaii’s first ruler. Both the sunrise and lecture sessions are complimentary for resort guests. For more information, visit www.fourseasons.com/hualalai or call (808) 325-8000.
Join Hawaii Volcanoes National Park’s free Cultural Festival at the Kahuku Unit from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on July 13. Guests can celebrate Hawaiian culture and enjoy the music of Hawaii with a traditional oli (chant) and hula while learning a traditional craft. The family-friendly festival shares the connection of the Hawaiian people to this storied place on Maunaloa volcano. Kahuku is on the mauka (inland) side of Highway 11 near mile marker 70.5, a 50-minute drive south of the park’s main entrance. Water, raingear and sun protection are recommended. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/havo/index.htm.
Fairmont Orchid, a luxury resort located along the Kohala Coast of the island of Hawaii, has selected Kaiulani Blankenfeld to serve as its director of Hawaiian culture. In this new position, she will lead a strategic initiative to create and enhance the property’s Hawaiian programs and practices. Born and raised on the island of Oahu, Blankenfeld can trace her genealogy to the first native Hawaiians who settled in Hawaii. An experienced hula practitioner, lei maker and storyteller, she embraces the kuleana (responsibility) of sharing the rich cultural heritage of Hawaii with visitors. For more information, visit www.fairmont.com/orchid-hawaii.
Join Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel for the second annual Hawaii Kuauli Pacific and Asia Cultural Festival from May 17 to 19. The three-day event will feature food, fashion, cultural workshops, a hula competition and more. Attendees can take advantage of a special room rate of $159 per night, plus taxes and fees, to enjoy the festival weekend at Kona’s only beachfront hotel. For room reservations, call (808) 329-2911. For more information, visit www.konabeachhotel.com or www.hikuauli.com.
The 4th Annual Farm Festival at Hamakua Harvest will be held in Honokaa on May 19. The festival celebrates local agriculture, farmers and food producers with more than 40 hand-selected vendors selling only locally produced products. Visitors can enjoy Hawaiian cultural performances, artisanal foods, educational workshops and a keiki (children’s) zone throughout the day. For more information, visit www.hamakuaharvest.org.
The Tropical Inspirations Quilt Show will be held at the Kona Hawaiian Quilt Museum in Kailua-Kona, July 20 and 21. Sponsored by the Kona Hawaiian Quilt Museum Society and co-produced by Pieceful Designs and Quilt Passions, the two-day event welcomes guests of all ages to view and admire more than 100 quilts from all over the world. Attendees will have the opportunity to talk story with local designers and enjoy locally made arts and crafts. In addition, there will be a keiki corner with fun activities for children. For more information, visit www.konahqm.org or call (808) 331-2958.
TOURS AND ACTIVITIES
The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort will launch the Garden to Glass tour and mixology class in April. During a guided tour of the Chef’s Garden, guests will learn how produce grown on property is transformed into decadent dinners for guests. Following the tour, guests will participate in a mini-mixology lesson where fresh herbs and citrus are crafted into signature cocktails for all to enjoy. The Garden to Glass tours will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4 p.m. The cost is $35 per person. For more information, visit www.westinhapunabeach.com or call (808) 880-1111.
Blue Hawaiian Helicopters introduces the Craters and Coffee Tour in partnership with Kau Coffee Mill. The exclusive tour features an exhilarating flight over the island of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano before landing at the Kau Coffee Mill for a private tour and tasting. Back on the helicopter, guests will take in firsthand views of the island’s newest landscapes, such as the exquisite black sand beaches at Pohoiki. The Craters and Coffee tour is a one-hour, 45-minute experience departing from Hilo. To book, visit www.BlueHawaiian.com or call (800) 745- BLUE (2583).
Explore the birthplace of King Kamehameha I through a new Paradise Helicopters tour of the spectacular Kohala valleys and waterfalls. The 30-minute, doors-off tours (doors-on tours are also available) are available mid-morning and mid-afternoon on Mondays and Thursdays, starting at $324 per person. Paradise also recently launched a one-hour Kohala Coast and Waterfalls Tour departing from Kona, starting at $375 per person. Early reservations are recommended. For more information, visit www.paradisecopters.com or call (866) 876-7422.
To encourage family bonding while on vacation, Waikoloa Beach Resort Golf offers Family Golf every day after 3:30 p.m. Families can play nine holes on the Kings’ Course for as little at $25 per junior golfer (6 years to 17 years) with free rental clubs. Adults are $50 plus $25 for rental clubs. For a family of four, that amounts to just $200, including club rentals. The fees include a shared cart, bottled water and unlimited use of the practice facilities on the days of play. Fees exclude Hawaii State tax. Visit waikoloabeachgolf.com or call (808) 886-7888 to book tee times.
While the island of Hawaii is home to an international astronomy community and some of the most premier stargazing in the world, Mauna Kea Resort has partnered with Star Gaze Hawaii to offer easily accessible stargazing right on property. Guests can now take in some of the island’s best stargazing at sea level due to finely-tuned telescopes and highly-trained astronomers. The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort offers Seaside Stargazing on Sundays and Wednesdays in the Kohala Garden parking lot. The cost is $40 for adults and $20 for children. For more information, visit www.stargazehawaii.com/stargazing or call (808) 323-3481.
Say aloha to sunshine and savings! This July and August, UnCruise Adventures will adventure around the rarely-visited shorelines of Hawaii Island as well as the islands of Molokai, Lanai and Maui. The inclusive, 36-guest Safari Explorer vessel offers a prime spot for viewing sea turtles, pilot whales, whale sharks and dolphins. Guests can also enjoy a selection of activities, including hiking, paddleboarding, kayaking, and snorkeling with majestic manta rays. For more information, visit www.uncruise.com or call (888) 862-8881.
On February 7, Hilton Grand Vacations Inc. (HGV) celebrated the opening of its Ocean Tower by Hilton Grand Vacations Club with a traditional Hawaiian blessing and ceremony. The resort is HGV’s fourth property in Waikoloa and first on the island of Hawaii with direct oceanfront views. During the course of this multi-phase project, there will be approximately 350 units comprised of studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom suites including upgraded penthouse residences. The project’s initial phase, which is now complete, features 72 units consisting of 18 studios, 24 one-bedroom suites, 24 two-bedroom suites and six three-bedroom suites.
In U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 Best Hotel awards, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel (MKBH) was awarded the “Silver” distinction for being in the top 30 percent of all ranked hotels within a destination. In addition, both MKBH and The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort (WHBR) were named the #2 and #3 Best Hotels on the island. Most recently, HAWAII magazine unveiled its 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards winners, with both properties awarded in a variety of categories under the island of Hawaii including Luxury Resort (#3 – MKBH), Best New Restaurant (#1 – Meridia at WHBR) and Golf Course (#1 – Mauna Kea Golf Course).
About the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau
The Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau is an Island Chapter of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB). HVCB manages Hawaii Tourism United States (HTUSA), which is contracted by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), for marketing management services in the continental U.S. Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau also supports HTA’s international marketing partners in Canada, China, Europe, Japan, Korea, Oceania, Southeast Asia, and Taiwan. The HTA, the state of Hawaii’s tourism agency, was established in 1998 to ensure a successful visitor industry well into the future. Its mission is to strategically manage Hawaii tourism in a sustainable manner consistent with the state of Hawaii’s economic goals, cultural values, preservation of natural resources, community desires and visitor industry needs. For more information about the island of Hawaii, visit GoHawaii.com/Island-of-Hawaii.