FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
EXPLORE THE DEEP HERITAGE & RICH CULTURE OF HAWAII ISLAND
Rooted in a legacy unique from any other on earth, Hawaii, the Big Island is home to some of the state's most historic and cultural places. Below are several ways to explore the Hawaii Island's sacred spots and storied past, from a guided tour atop Maunakea to viewing ancient petroglyphs and preserved heiau (place of worship).
Now offering an exciting new tour, Hawaii Forest & Trail allows guests to explore the story of the heavenly realm of Maunakea, the world's tallest sea mountain. The journey begins in Hilo at Imiloa Astronomy Center, where guests will be able to learn about how Polynesian explorers traveled the Pacific Ocean through star navigation, and concludes with exploring cutting-edge astronomy installations at Maunakea's summit.
For an overview of Hawaii Island's volcanic history, KapohoKine Adventures leads intimate group tours to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Guests can choose from four guided Volcano excursions, which include stops at the steam vents, Thurston Lava Tube, Thomas A. Jaggar Museum, and iconic Halemaumau crater overlook. Depending on the tour, visitors may also hike across the floor of the crater, enjoy dinner at the iconic Volcano House, or discover sustainable farming.
In addition to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Island is also home to two national historical parks (Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park and Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park), a national historic site (Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site) and a national historic trail (Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail), all showcasing the island's intriguing history.
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is launching "My Mauna Kea," a new environmental and cultural stewardship program in partnership with Mauna Kea Forest Reforestation Project and Hawaii Forest & Trail. Volunteer trips may include collecting seeds in an effort to restore the endangered palila (Hawaiian honey creeper), found only on the slopes of Maunakea. The cost to attend is $146 per person and includes transportation, lunch, a guide, and all necessary equipment.
Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay recently launched its "Cultural Package" to share the story of Kaukulaelae, an ancient Hawaiian fishing village and heiau on its property. Starting at $249 per night, the package includes breakfast for two at Ainakai restaurant, a guided historic land and sea tour of Keauhou, lei greeting and a special cultural amenity, along with lei-making, ukulele and hula lessons. The package also awards a 15 percent discount at the resort's Haleo Luau.
Body Glove Cruises provides a porthole to the past on its "Historical Sunset Dinner Cruise," capturing the imagination and revealing many points of interest in Kealakekua Bay and the Captain Cook monument. The three-hour experience includes live entertainment and a Hawaiian-style buffet upon entering the bay.
On the daily Hawaiian Plant Walk at the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden, visitors are led through a landscape of native and Polynesian-introduced plants. Along the way, guides relate the ways in which these plants represent a major part of the cultural heritage of the Hawaiian people.
Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa offers an engaging experience with "Huakai The Journey," led by the resort's Aloha Ambassador. The half-hour experience, offered every Tuesday and Friday from 8:00 to 8:30 a.m., starts with an oli (chant) and explores the resort's cultural treasures including its ancient Hawaiian paths and fishponds.
Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows hosts "Twilight at Kalahuipuaa," an evening of storytelling and entertainment on the lawn of the oceanfront Eva Parker Woods Cottage, every month when the full moon rises. Designed to perpetuate the spirit of aloha, the event is coordinated and led by the resort's cultural historian, Danny Akaka, who speaks fluent Hawaiian and often performs as a musician.
The Shops at Mauna Lani hosts a monthly Polynesian Cultural Festival every third Monday of the month from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m., allowing visitors to explore the culture of the Hawaiian Islands, Tahiti, Samoa and Aotearoa. Activities include konane (checkers), ulu maika (stone bowling), hula, Tahitian drumming, and Samoan fire-knife dancing.
The following Hawaii Island cultural festivals and events are happening this spring:
- The 15th Annual Great Waikoloa Ukulele Festival will be held at the Queens' MarketPlace and Kings' Shops on March 7. Hundreds of participants are anticipated to enjoy world-class performances and a free instructional class.
- The Merrie Monarch Royal Parade will be held on April 11. One of the iconic festival's most entertaining, family-friendly events, the parade begins and ends at Pauahi Street, and winds through downtown Hilo.
- The Hilo Lei Day Festival will be held on May 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Kalakaua Park in Hilo, celebrating the history, culture, and heritage of the traditional Hawaiian lei.
- On May 2, Kau Coffee Festival's Hoolaulea (celebration) will feature live music, hula, crafts, games, coffee and food at Pahala Community Center.
- This year's Puna Music Festival featuring Hawaii-based artists and a full schedule of concerts, events, and workshops will be held from May 3 to 9. Now in its fifth year, the unique event focuses on bridging performers and audiences during the festivities.
- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park will host a Biodiversity & Cultural Festival as part of its BioBlitz from May 15 to 16. The festival features hands-on exhibits, food, art and entertainment, plus the opportunity to meet individuals and organizations at the forefront of conservation, science and Hawaiian culture.
- Bringing together filmmakers and movie lovers to celebrate narrative filmmaking and Hawaii Island culture, Big Island Film Festival will be held at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii from May 21 to 25.
Special note: While BIVB recognizes the use of the 'okina ['] or glottal stop, one of the eight consonants of the (modern) Hawaiian language; and the kahakō [ā] or macron, this correspondence does not include the 'okina or kahakö because not all computers are able to reproduce these markings or true fonts in normal text.