FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Anthology Marketing Group
Erin Kinoshita
Senior Account Supervisor
(808) 539-3428
Erin.Kinoshita@AnthologyGroup.com

April 03, 2017

SIZZLIN' APRIL NEWS FROM THE ISLAND OF HAWAII

Island of Hawaii (April 3, 2017) – A long-distance outrigger canoe race along the Kona Coast ideal for watching from the shore. A day of independence for Hawaiian green sea turtles. An under-the-stars jazz and blues festival. And festivals celebrating Hawaiian cultural and sustainable practices, music, hula and art. Welcome to some of the great events happening on the island of Hawaii in the months ahead. You’ll find more details on each below, alongside the lowdown on new tours and activities, hotel and resort deals and experiences, dining and more.

EVENTS

In celebration of the spirit of Hilo’s famed Merrie Monarch Festival, the Grand Naniloa Hotel – A DoubleTree by Hilton will host daily pop-up shops throughout the week of this year’s annual hula competition. Open April 17 to 23, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the pop-up shop will offer works from local artisans and host live hula performances. When the Merrie Monarch Festival ends, visitors can continue to catch local hula groups practicing on the hotel lawn each Monday from 4:30 to 6 p.m., or enjoy live music every Tuesday night at the hotel’s Hula Lounge. Phone number: (808) 969-3333. Website: www.grandnaniloahilo.com

Sweet jazz and blues tunes will again take center stage at the Big Island Jazz and Blues Festival, returning for its sixth year at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, June 1 to 4. Attendees will enjoy live entertainment from Grammy and Na Hoku  Hanohano award-winning musicians from Hawaii and around the world. The festival’s headliner event – which, according to organizers, always sells out – is set for the hotel’s luau garden on June 3. Website(s): www.MaunaKeaBeachHotel.com; www.BigIslandJazzAndBluesFestival.com.
 
Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows will celebrate its 28th annual Turtle Independence Day on July 4. The resort receives young honu (Hawaiian green sea turtles) from Sea Life Park on Oahu regularly, raising them in its oceanside saltwater ponds until the turtles grow to a size and weight deemed appropriate for release into the wild.  The turtle release event happens each Independence Day at the hotel’s oceanfront. Free and open to the public, Turtle Independence Day’s happenings include a welcome ceremony, hula performance, live entertainment and July 4th eats available for purchase from food trucks. Phone number: (808) 885-6622. Website: www.maunalani.com

Save July 8 for the 37th Annual Hawaiian Cultural Festival and BioBlitz at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The event is open to the public to engage in Hawaiian cultural practices and learn about ways in which Hawaiians lived their lives as stewards of the land. Attendees will also enjoy hula and music, catch demonstrations, and get to practice Hawaiian crafting. This year’s festival will include a BioBlitz – an opportunity to join scientists and cultural practitioners in discovering the park’s thriving biodiversity. The cultural festival happens from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the BioBlitz from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Website: www.nps.gov/havo/index.htm

Promising another day of live Hawaiian music, hula performances and the works of local artisans, Mauna Kea Resort’s 6th annual Festival of Aloha will return to the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel’s Convention Center Courtyard on August 27. Accompanying all-day Festival of Aloha festivities will be a variety of food booths offering everything from Hawaiian plate lunches and fruit-flavored shave ice to gourmet culinary creations from the chefs of Mauna Kea Resort. Festival admission is free. Phone number: (808) 880-1111. Website: www.hapunabeachprincehotel.com   

The Queen Liliuokalani Long-Distance Canoe Race, which annually celebrates the Hawaiian sport of outrigger canoe racing, is set for August 31 to September 4. The world’s largest long-distance outrigger canoe race, the Queen’s Race welcomes international paddlers to Kailua-Kona for five days of racing. The event’s 18-mile signature race, happening September 3, follows a historically and culturally significant course running between Kamakahonu Bay – once the site of King Kamehameha the Great’s residence – and Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park. Related events include a walking tour, cultural fair, an International Paddlers Night, a torch-light parade, and a traditional Hawaiian luau. Website: www.kaiopua.org

The 2nd Annual Hawaii Island Festival of Birds is set for September 15 to 17 at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay.  The program of guest speakers will include Jeff Gordon, president of the American Birding Association, and renowned author, artist, naturalist and conservationist Kenn Kaufman. The Festival of Birds will also feature an outdoor and birding equipment trade show, a children’s corner, a crafts fair, photography and painting workshops, a birding film festival, opportunities to talk story with island of Hawaii naturalists and bird experts, and guided field trips. Phone number: (808) 331-3655. Website: www.birdfesthawaii.org

ACCOMMODATIONS

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai announces its newest experience: “The Ultimate Pop-Up Volcano Adventure.” The resort has transformed a secluded cottage it calls the “Rainforest Cottage Hideaway” into a Four Seasons residence complete with staff and amenities. The overnight stay is paired with a tour of the Kilauea volcano caldera by air on a helicopter tour of the island of Hawaii, and a hike to the volcano’s lava flow ocean entry. The adventure is available exclusively to Four Seasons Hualalai guests, for groups of up to four people. The cost of the 27-hour experience is $39,500. Phone number: (808) 325-8000. Website: www.fourseasons.com/hualalai

The legendary Dragonfly Ranch: Healing Arts Center in South Kona is offering 10-day transformational retreats open to parties of 10 to 15 people, beginning in June. The Swiss Family Robinson-inspired country hideaway also offers food-preparation classes of hearty vegan dishes made with produce procured from the Dragonfly’s organic garden; a cleansing program for releasing toxins, undesired pounds and inches; supplements; daily chi gung exercise; ohana lomilomi Hawaiian massage; and hooponopono training. All of this, along with relaxation and ocean activities, includes daily snorkeling and dolphin sightings. Phone number: (808) 238-1906. Website: www.dragonflyranch.com

TOURS & ACTIVITIES

Due to popular demand, Fair Wind Cruises extended its online booking special through the end of 2017. Opt to cruise the coast of South Kona and save 10 percent on “Fair Wind II Afternoon Kealakekua Snorkel Cruises” or “Hula Kai Deluxe Kona Coast Snorkel and BBQ Cruises.” Multiple bookings get a 15 percent discount. Passengers will experience snorkeling and marine life at Kealakekua Bay, and take in the area’s beauty and rich history. Use the promo code "save 10" during online checkout for single bookings. No promo code is necessary for the multiple bookings discount. Phone number: (800) 677-9461. Website: www.fair-wind.com

Waikoloa Beach Resort Golf invites families to spend quality time together with Waikoloa Family Golf. Junior golfers play for just $25 when joining their parents for nine holes on the Kings’ Course after 3:30 p.m. Adults play for $50, with golf club rentals available for $25. Junior club rental sets are free. Green fees for Waikoloa Family Golf include a shared cart, bottled water and use of the resort’s practice facilities on day of play.  Phone number: (808) 886-5172. Website: www.WaikoloaGolf.com

Hawaii Forest & Trail’s signature “Twilight Volcano Adventure” has added a selection of local-favorite eats to its dinner menu. After a day exploring Hawaii Volcanoes National Park with company guides, guest adventurers can now opt for a local-style dinner. Guest dining options for a "picnic in the park" include Hawaii-style teriyaki chicken, braised kalbi beef ribs, or yellow Thai curry – the last of these a vegan and gluten-free dinner option. A sweet potato haupia dessert ends the meal, followed by the after-dinner glow of the lava lake in Kilauea volcano’s summit Halemaumau crater. Phone number: (808) 331-8505. Website: www.hawaii-forest.com

Nui Pohaku Adventure Tours has added a lava ocean-entry hike to its two “combo” tours: the “Kilauea Volcano Sunset and Lava Walk” and the “Kilauea Volcano Bike and Lava Adventure.” The tour company escorts its guests to the ocean entry of the current Kilauea lava flow via the shortest route available – a distance of just under two miles each way. Both excursions offer guests an extensive tour of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park before embarking on the hike to the lava flow’s ocean entry. The experiences are comparable to getting two tours in a single day. Website: www.nuipohaku.com

Everyone is invited to visit the brand-new Big Island Golf Shop, located in the Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel. Golf enthusiasts can shop for apparel, rent equipment, sign up for lessons or try out the shop’s golf simulator, featuring 37 virtual golf courses. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Big Island Golf Shop also offers an exclusive concierge service with discounted rates, tee times, and recommendations for local courses. Phone number: (808) 657-4801 Website: www.bigislandgolfshop.com

TASTY TIDBITS

Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii is pleased to introduce “Sunset Sessions” at its beachfront Kahakai Bar.  Whether it’s a volleyball session, live music jam session, or simply enjoying time with friends and family, “Sunset Sessions” at Fairmont Orchid brings much of the great things about Hawaii to the perfect time of day: sunset. “Sunset Sessions” happens every Friday from 5-7 p.m., with discounted pupu (appetizers) and drink specials.  Website: www.fairmont.com/orchid-hawaii  

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the island of Hawaii is proud to unveil its new lounge and private dining room in the resort’s signature restaurant, Manta. Offering expansive ocean views and a relaxing ambiance, Manta invites guests to treat their taste buds to an array of island-inspired flavors, including a new pupu menu in the lounge, which now features bar, communal, and indoor and outdoor seating. With seating for up to 16 guests, Manta’s private dining room can accommodate a range of gatherings, from small business meetings to wedding dinners or an intimate birthday celebration with loved ones. Website: www.maunakeabeachhotel.com

ACCOLADES

Paradise Helicopters is the first and only helicopter tour company in Hawaii to be awarded a Sustainable Tourism Certification from the Hawaii Ecotourism Association (HEA). The 2017-18 HEA Certified Sustainable Tour Operator designation recognizes the company’s commitment to responsible travel. Paradise Helicopters was selected for the certification for its excellence in environmental sustainability, safety, staff knowledge and community involvement. The company recently launched a carbon-offset program through Legacy Carbon supporting the reforestation of native trees in Hawaii. Guests of Paradise Helicopters can now purchase certified carbon credits to offset the environmental impact of their flight. Phone Number: (866) 876-7422 Website: www.paradisecopters.com

In just under a year, the Surfrider Foundation and its coalition of partners have certified more than 100 Hawaii restaurants for meeting the criteria of its Ocean Friendly Restaurants program. The statewide program, which kicked off on Earth Day 2016, recognizes restaurants leading the way in environmental protection by running their operations without foam and plastic. Island of Hawaii restaurants certified in the Ocean Friendly Restaurants program include Kona Brewing Company, Lava Lava Beach Club, Big Island Brewhaus, Huggo’s on the Rocks, Paul’s Place, Sweet Cane Cafe and Daylight Mind Coffee Company. Website: www.oceanfriendlyrestaurantshawaii.org