1st Best of Kona Festival Coming in February

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Best of Kona Festival. PC: Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce

The Best of Kona Festival is a lifestyle festival in West Hawai‘i bringing together vendors and artisans from across the region.

The festival is being held on Feb. 8, 2020, at the Keauhou Shopping Center from noon to 6 p.m. Attendees will experience a celebration of community where food, culture, arts, education, entertainment and more combine to showcase the best of Kona.

The inaugural festival is the brainchild of Julie Ziemelis, Ziemelis Communications and creator of 365Kona, who founded the festival to give Kona a signature lifestyle event.

“I wanted to produce a locally focused festival where residents and visitors alike can enjoy a ‘one-stop shop’ in one day, in one place to find information on housing, education and healthcare, sample our local produce, meet our farmers, enjoy free entertainment in a fun setting, experience the Hawaiian culture and bring nonprofits together with potential volunteers,” she said.


Co-founder of the festival Aesha Shipiro, of Aesha Rose Events and Design, and founder of the Ladies Artisan Market in Kona, is excited to bring her connections and vision, as well.

“As a person born and raised on this island, my passion is to support local businesses and bring the community together to highlight all that we are lucky to have in Kona,” Shapiro said.

Co-founder of the festival Nichole Lear, owner of 45 Degrees North Design, and creator of Big Island Guide is excited to bring her communications and marketing background to the team.

“I’m excited to help create a festival that brings the Kona community together, spreads the spirit of aloha and creates opportunity for local people, businesses and organizations,” Lear said.


Dozens of local businesses, restaurants, food trucks, nonprofits, artists and makers will be on hand to focus on these core areas of sustainable life well lived in Kona:

  • Arts and Culture
  • Culinary
  • Health and Wellness
  • Housing/Finance
  • Lifestyle and Family

There will be educational presentations around buying a home and obtaining financing, how to stay fit and healthy, where you can volunteer in the community, how to adopt or foster a pet, tasting and education of locally-sourced produce, how to make flower and ti leaf lei, pound poi and play makahiki games.

Parents can talk to admissions representatives from Kona charter schools, keiki can ride miniature ponies and attendees of all ages can make art and crafts. Combine all that with a stage featuring a a fashion show with local designers, musical performances and hula while guests over 21 can enjoy a beer garden.

Entertainment includes bands Blue Jade featuring Ann Hoku Lynn, Mis Demeanor & the Felons, Pacific Roots, Shina Romero and Big Island Music Academy and a local hula halau.


The festival is free to the public to attend. Many of the children’s activities and crafts are free along with culinary demonstrations with tasting. Food trucks and vendors will be selling food, as well as the restaurants at the shopping center.

The event is being sponsored by local businesses who value creating a community building event and sharing Aloha, while celebrating the culture of Hawai‘i, where the public will enjoy themselves and businesses can learn from one another, share ideas and make new connections, as well.

If you would like see the full schedule of events and activities, visit our website at

If you would like to be considered as a vendor, email Aesha Shapiro at [email protected].

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