Big Island’s Weekend: Breadfruit, Ho’olaulea, Tiger Birthday

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Before we jettison September and slide headlong into the season of ghouls, overeating and gift giving, savor this last weekend of calm before the frenzy.

Got ‘Ulu?

It’s roundish, green on the outside and starchy on the inside.

On Saturday September 29, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the ‘ulu or breadfruit will be celebrated with cooking contests, demonstrations, food tastings and more.

Join plant experts, kupuna, Chef Sam Choy, Na Hoku Hanohano Award winner Diana Aki and more at the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden in Captain Cook.

There will be live music, food booths, crafts, tree sales of ‘ulu and banana, keiki art show and cultural activities.


Learn to make ‘ulu poi with Jerry Konanui and discover Hawaiian quilting, woodworking and tapa making.

For more information visit www.breadfruit.info. The Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden is located at 82-6188 Mamalahoa Highway in Captain Cook.

Ice Cake with Bone Candles

Namaste, the impressive white tiger of Pana’ewa Rainforest Zoo turns 15 on Saturday. Help him celebrate his distinguished age with live music and cake and ice cream, while supplies last. Keiki will enjoy the face-painting, live music, crafts and more.

Namaste on the prowl, photo by Kristin Hashimoto

Watch Namaste enjoy his icy treat at 9:30 a.m.; then at 10 a.m. a giant stuffed catnip filled mouse will be gifted.


Later in the day, witness him tearing into a turkey dinner at 3:30 p.m.

The zoo is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and has free admission.

The petting zoo is open every Saturday from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The Pana’ewa Rainforest Zoo is located off Highway 11, at 800 Stainback Highway in Hilo.

Navigation by the Stars


The 5th Annual Wayfinding and Navigation Festival will take place at the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center on September 29. This event educates while it entertains attendees with rich history, games, art exhibits and more.

This free event begins at 10 a.m. and lasts until 4 p.m. Expect live music, planetarium shows, discussion of the Hokulea voyaging canoe, speaker presentations and more.

The ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center is located at 600 ‘Imiloa Place in Hilo. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

(See more on this story here -Ed)

Big Bloc Party

The 19th Annual Ho’olaulea, or festival, is upon Hilo town on Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

The entertainment lineup is massive with three separate stages and over 20 performers and bands.

‘Ono food and crafts will be scattered throughout downtown Hilo for an overflow of music and food.

Some of the featured performers include, Sudden Rush, ‘Ekolu, Anuhea, Damon Williams, Mark Saito, Kanaka Pila, Pomai Longakit, Bruddah Waltah, Positive Motion and more.

Do You Contra?

Keep the energy up in Volcano at the Contra dance on Sunday. Beginners are encouraged to come early at 7 p.m. and learn the dances. Soft soled shoes or socks are worn to protect the dance floor.

Contra dance is a folk style dance that utilizes partnering and called dances. Musicians will provide live music with a combination of fiddles, flute, bass uke and banjo. Entry is $5 per person.

The dancing ends at 9:30 p.m. at the Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus located at 19-4074 Old Volcano Road in Volcano Village.

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