East Hawaii News

July 4th Celebrations Include Cook-Offs, Concerts and Classic Cars

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Wednesday’s observance of the signing of the Declaration of Independence will be celebrated in Hilo with activities ranging from cook-offs to concerts to classic cars.

5K Run

July 4th will kick off with a 7 a.m. 5-kilometer run/walk sponsored by Post 3830 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The race both starts and ends at Liliuokalani Park. Online registration is available at www.vfwpost3830.com.

Hilo BBQ Cook-Off

For  barbeque lovers, the two-day Hilo BBQ Cook-Off will begin at 8 a.m. Tuesday at the Hilo Bayfront commuter parking lot on the makai side of Kamehameha Avenue.

An internationally sanctioned competition serving as the Hawaii State Championship, the cook-off will feature the three-time US barbeque champion from California, two teams from Texas, and the defending champion from Oahu.


Judging begins at 11 a.m. on Wednesday for the chili, chicken, pork spare ribs, pork and brisket categories. Winners will be announced at 5 p.m.

Classic Cars

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Hawaii Classic Cruisers’ Car Show & Shine will present hundreds of classic automobiles and truck for public viewing along the Hilo Bayfront Park canoe-landing area. The event, part of the 10-day-long Cruise Paradise 2012, will include live entertainment.

Skateboarding Competition

The Hilo Skate Park Coalition will be holding its “Street Seen” team skateboarding competition on the bayfront park’s mauka lane between noon and 5 p.m.


Waterslide and Jumping Castle

The Mo‘oheau baseball field at bayfront will host children’s games and contests and will feature a water slide and jumping castle. The bandstand will feature Zumba, line-dancing and musical performances.


The Hawaii County Band will play its traditional Independence Day concert at the Mo‘oheau Bandstand featuring patriotic songs beginning at 7 p.m.

Hilo Fireworks


The Bayfront Highway will be closed from 6-10 p.m. for that mainstay of Hilo’s July 4th celebrations, the annual fireworks show from Coconut Island, which begins at 8 p.m.

Free the Turtles

Elsewhere on the island, “Turtle Independence Day” will again be held at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows in South Kohala.

The event involves a ceremony-filled release into the ocean of young turtles that have been raised in the resort’s saltwater ponds. It will be held at 10:30 a.m.

Rubber Duckie Race

The 21st Annual Rubber Duckie Race will be held at 3 p.m. at the Kings’ Shops at the Waikoloa Beach Resort. Online “adoption certificates” can be purchased at www.kingsshops.com. The first 50 duckies to cross the finish line will share more than $24,000 in prizes.

Event organizers said last year’s race raised more than $30,000 for the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Hawaii.

Festivities at the resort will run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and include live entertainment, a watermelon-eating contest, and duck-waddling and duck-calling contests, with the first 500 people to arrive at 9:30 receiving goodie bags.

Entertainment will also be on tap at the resort’s Queens’ Marketplace preceding the fireworks show to be held at 8 p.m.

Kona Parade and Fireworks

The annual Independence Day Parade will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Kailua-Kona. Organizers said Gov. Neil Abercrombie will be among the participants. See www.paradesinkona.com for information.

Hale Halawai Pavilion in Kailua-Kona will open for July 4th festivities with food booths and a children’s bouncing castle beginning at 3 p.m. and live entertainment at 6:30.

The park on Ali‘i Drive will provide viewing for both the parade and the fireworks show launched from an off-shore barge that begins at 8 p.m.

Waimea Horse Races

In Waimea, the 50th annual Parker Ranch horse races and rodeo will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at the Parker Ranch Rodeo Arena. Tickets for those older than 10 years old are $5 before the event and $6 at the gate. See www.parkerranch.com for details.

Volcano Celebrations

The Volcano Community Fourth of July celebration begins at 9 a.m. at the Volcano Post Office and extends to Cooper Community Center. At the end there will be food vendors, a craft fair, silent auction and musical entertainment.

Free Drive-in Movie

This weekend, a free drive-in movie Saturday night will feature the showing of “American Graffit” in the Civil Air Patrol’s parking lot on Kekuanaoa Street, near the Hilo International Airport. The showing is from around 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Food and refreshments will be available from on-site vendors.

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