Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Announces December Events

November 16, 2019, 9:09 AM HST (Updated November 16, 2019, 8:33 AM)
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“Dr. Jaggar” explains his studies of Kīlauea in the early 1900s to visitors at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. PC: NPS Photo/Janice Wei.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park has announced its monthly lineup of events and activities for December including Hawaiian cultural activities, talks, stewardship programs and opportunities to explore the park’s Kahuku Unit in Ka‘ū.

Though most of the park is open, visitors are encouraged to visit the park website ahead of their arrival for alerts, parking tips and advice for avoiding the crowds. The park is expecting heavy visitation and limited parking at the summit of Kīlauea during the holidays.

The following events are free, but park entrance fees may apply.

DECEMBER EVENTS

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Reintroduction of the ‘Ālala – Two Years Later

Through intensive conservation efforts, 20 ‘ālala—the endemic and endangered Hawaiian crow—have been reintroduced in native Hawaiian forests. Rachel Kingsley, education and outreach association for The ‘Ālala Project, will provide an update on the reintroduced birds. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free (park entrance fees apply).
When: Tuesday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

100th Anniversary of the Mauna Iki Eruption on Kīlauea Volcano’s Southwest Rift Zone

From mid-December 1919, after significant draining and re-filling of the Halema‘uma‘u lava lake, lava erupted on the caldera floor, sending lava down the SW rift zone. Join geologist Scott Rowland from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa as he explains the significance of this 100-year-old eruption. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free (park entrance fees apply).
When: Tuesday, December 10 at 7 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Moa Pahe‘e Games

Similar to ‘ulu maika, moa pahe‘e requires a little more strength and skill. Join rangers and staff from Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association during the festive Makahiki season and test yourself in this fun Hawaiian game. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free (park entrance fees apply).
When: Wednesday, Dec. 11, from 10 a.m. to noon.
Where: Outside Hale Noa o Kīlauea, across from Volcano Art Center

Holidays in Kahuku

The public is invited to the second annual Holidays in Kahuku, a free family-friendly event featuring local crafters selling jewelry, pottery, holiday decorations and more. The event will feature life performances by rock ‘n rollers Shootz, the “queen of opera” D’Andrea Pelletier and a surprise guest performing Hawaiian music. Volcano House will provide food for purchase and Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will sell shave ice, drinks, chips and logo merchandise. Books, native species plush toys and other park-related items will be available for sale in the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association store. All proceeds from the event will support park projects and educational programs.
When: Saturday, Dec. 14, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Kahuku Unit in Ka‘ū

Holiday Concert

Acclaimed Hawai‘i musician and recording artist Randy Lorenzo and upcoming vocalist Jennie Kaneshiro will be joined by special guest musicians for a holiday concert in the park. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free (park entrance fees apply).
When: Tuesday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Kōnane (Hawaiian checkers)

Celebrate the annual Hawaiian makahiki season with a game of ‘kōnane in the park. ‘Kōnane is an ancient Hawaiian game similar to checkers. The object is to be the last player to make a move. King Kamehameha was an excellent player who could beat his opponent swiftly. Join park rangers and staff from Hawai‘i Pacific parks Association for this fun event. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free (park entrance fees apply).
When: Wednesday, Dec. 25, from 10 a.m. to noon.
Where: Outside Hale Noa o Kīlauea, across from Volcano Art Center

Artist in Residence to Present Work at Coffee Talk

Landscape painter Dawn Waters Baker, December’s Artist in Residence, will present her work to the public in Kahuku (and informally as she paints throughout the park, en plein air). The artist lives in Texas, but was born and raised in the Philippines and lived through the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in 1991. Baker is familiar with lush, volcanic landscapes and will be looking and listening for both the new and the familiar, along with the themes of life, death and rebirth while she works. The Artist in Residence program is sponsored by the National Parks Arts Foundation, Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and other partners.
When: Friday, Dec. 27, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Where: Kahuku Unit in Ka‘ū

Stewardship of Kīpukapuaulu

Help remove troublesome plants at Kīpukapuaulu, home to diverse native forest and understory plants. Bring clippers or pruners, sturdy gloves, a hat and water. Wear closed-toe shoes and work clothes. Be prepared for cool and wet or hot and sunny weather. New volunteer? Contact Marilyn Nicholson for more info at [email protected].
When: Every Thursday at 9:30 a.m. (Dec. 5, 12, 19 and 26.)
Where: Meet at the Kīpukapuaulu parking lot, Mauna Loa Road, off Highway 11 in the park

Stewardship at the Summit

Volunteer to help remove invasive, non-native plant species that prevent native plants from growing in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, a World Heritage Site. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, rain gear, day pack, snacks and water. Gloves and tools are provided. Under 18? Parental or guardian accompaniment or written consent is required. Visit the park website for additional planning details.
When: Dec. 6, 13, 21 and 28. Meet at 8:45 a.m.
Where: Meet project leaders Paul and Jane Field at Kīlauea Visitor Center on any of the above dates

A Walk into the Past with Dr. Thomas A. Jaggar

Walk back to 1912 and meet the founder of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Dr. Thomas A. Jaggar, at the edge of Kīlauea Volcano. Dressed in period costume, Ka‘ū actor-director Dick Hershberger brings the renowned geologist to life. Dr. Jaggar will take you on a tour of his tiny lab located below the Volcano House to see original seismograph equipment and other early instruments. You’ll learn what motivated Dr. Jaggar to dedicate his life to the study of Hawaiian volcanoes, and how his work helps save lives today. Space is limited. Get a free free ticket at the Kīlauea Visitor Center’s front desk on the day of the program. Program includes climbing stairs and entering a confined space. Supported by the Kīlauea Drama Entertainment Network (KDEN). Free (park entrance fees apply).
When: Tuesdays on Dec. 3, 10, 17 and 24 at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. Each performance is about an hour.
Where: Meet at Kīlauea Visitor Center

Explore Kahuku

The Kahuku Unit is free to enter and open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Take a self-guided hike or join rangers on weekends for a two-hour guided trek at 9:30 a.m. Enter the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on the mauka (inland) side of Highway 11 near mile marker 70.5. Kahuku is located in Ka‘ū and is about a 50-minute drive south of the park’s main entrance. Sturdy footwear, water, rain gear, sun protection and a snack are recommended for all hikes.

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