Top 20 things to do on the Big Island June 29-July 5: Daily Pidgin comedy, rubber duckie race, July 4th celebrations with fireworks!

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Aloha Big Island Now readers. This weekʻs Top 20 things to do on the Big Island are dominated by Fourth of July celebrations, including a 5K run/walk, rodeo, rubber duckie race and, of course, fireworks.

Also check out our Events Calendar, which features a more comprehensive listing of happenings for the upcoming week and beyond. It includes concerts, shows, entertainment, community events and outdoor/farmers markets.

No. 1 — Hilo Bay Blast to celebrate the nationʻs birthday (July 4, Hilo)

The Hilo Bay Blast to celebrate the Fourth of July runs from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Hilo Bayfront Soccer Fields, with a car expo, live entertainment, food trucks and kids activities.

At 7 p.m., the Hawai’i County Band will play at the Moʻoheau Bandstand. The fireworks show is at 8 p.m.

No. 2 — Rubber Duckie Race in Waikōloa (July 4, Kona)

Enjoy entertainment, free keiki activities, merchant offers and the Great Waikōloa Rubber Duckie Race, where 10,000 bathtub cuties will paddle to victory for their adoptive owners.  First 50 finishers and last place duckie wins prizes!

The event will take place on the Fourth of July at the Waikōloa Kings’ Shops from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Adopt a duckie and learn more here.

No. 3 — A Salute To Our Veterans Hilo Bay 5K Run/Walk (July 4, Hilo)


“A Salute to Our Veterans” Hilo Bay 5K Run/Walk will benefit the Veterans of Foreign Wars 3830 and Auxiliary in Pāhoa. 

This annual event starts at Liliuokalani Gardens on Banyan Drive in Hilo. Sign up to honor a veteran. Race starts at 9 a.m. and costs $35.

No. 4 — 59th Annual July 4th Rodeo and Horse Races (Waimea, July 4)

File photo: 4th of July rodeo at Parker Ranch in 2016

Parker Ranch is hosting its 59th Annual July 4th Rodeo and Horse Races at the Parker Ranch Rodeo Arena in Waimea, with gates opening at 7 a.m. and lasting until 1 p.m. Tickets range from $12 to $15.

The July 4th Rodeo celebrates the community and commemorates Waimea’s unique ranching way of life and culture. This rodeo is a long-standing tradition that promotes camaraderie as well as friendly competition amongst the various Hawaiʻi Island ranches. The paniolo will compete in various events, including horse races, ranch mugging, team roping and poʻo wai u (a roping event).

No. 5 — Annual 4th of July Extravaganza at Queensʻ Marketplace (Waikoloa, July 4)

This free event will run from 2- 6 p.m. and include face painting, popcorn, cotton candy and lots of great family fun, culminating with a live set to a spectacular fireworks display over Waikoloa Bowl at Queens’ Gardens.


Enjoy great live performances by local bands Kū Maʻemaʻe Music , Tomi Isobe & Blues Dogs, and Off Da Cuff. Hawai’i island’s favorite radio host G.Cruz from KWXX will be broadcasting live at the event! Learn more here.

No. 6 —  Daily Pidgin Comedy Show at Kona Elks Lodge (July 1, Kona)

The Daily Pidgin Comedy Roadshow with hosts Andy Bumatai and James Mane will be on July 1 at 7 p.m. at the Kona Elks Lodge.

Bumatai is a legendary Hawaii comedian, actor and podcaster who has been entertaining people for more than 40 years across the United States. He has created many TV specials most notably “High School Daze” and “All in the ʻOhana.”

Mane is a larger than life Samoan comedian, actor and podcaster. He is the first Samoan to do stand-up comedy on American television in FNX’s First Nations Comedy Experience.

The Daily Pidgin Podcast can be seen live weekdays at 3 p.m. on YouTube, Twitch and Facebook. Tickets are $28 and available here.

No. 7 — Hawai’i Performing Arts Festival season opener: Spirit of Hawai’i (July 1, Hilo)


The Hawai’i Performing Arts Festival season opener is July 1 at 7 p.m. at the Palace Theater, 38 Haili St. in Hilo.

The “Spirit of Hawai’i” celebrates the rich culture of the state, featuring an evening of musical storytelling with Blayne Asing. All proceeds will support the festival’s scholarship fund for local high school students. It is sponsored by the State of Hawai‘i and Hawai‘i Tourism Authority. Tickets are $45 for priority orchestra seating and $30 general admission. Click here for tickets.

No. 8 — Naʻalehu Independence Day Parade in Naʻalehu Park (July 1, Kaʻū)

The Independence Day Celebration parade begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday in Naʻalehu Park. After the parade, enjoy pizza, shave ice, watermelon, a water slide, a bouncy house, senior bingo and lunch (at the community center). Festivities run until 3 p.m.

There will be vendors at the regular Farmers Market site in town. For more info, contact OKK at 808-929-9872 or visit www.

No. 9 — Hawaiian Cocktails, Spirits, Whiskey and Chocolate Pairings (June 30, Kona)

Join the Puna Chocolate’s Kona location on June 30 for a guided pairing of fine spirits and Hawaiian chocolate. All Hawaiian-made spirits — whiskey, bourbon, dark rum, gin and vodka — are paired with Chocolate dipped pineapple, passionfruit truffles, coconut cookies and more.

The tastings will include 5 spirits (1/2 ounce each) with 5 chocolates that our guide has curated for the night. For people 21 and older.

The event runs from 7 to 8:30 p.m. It costs $35. For tickets or more information, click here.

No. 10 —  Kona After Dark (July 1, Kona)

Rock your best white or neon outfit for this west side party experience that includes dances, a red carpet and glow in the dark decor.

The event runs from 8 p.m. until 1:30 a.m at Papa Kona in Kona. General admission is $50 and includes free appetizers. Tickets are only available at for purchase. The cost is more at the door. Learn more here.

No. 11 —  Kukuau Studio’s weekly Jazz Jam (July 3, Hilo)

In the mood for some jazz this week? Never a bad idea. Check out the Jazz Jam on Monday from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Kukuau Studio, one of Hilo’s most eclectic and artistic venues.

It’s free to the public and every week there’s a new lineup of tunes. To learn more, click here.

No. 12 —  Kohala Hongwanji Obon Festival (July 1, Kohala)

The 19th Annual Celebration of Life ceremony hosted by Hawai’i Care Choices in Hilo on May 28, 2023, included the beginning of the 2023 Obon season for the island. (Megan Moseley/Big Island Now).

The free Kohala Hongwanji Obon Festival and Bon Dance will take place on July 1, starting at 6 p.m. It is at 53-4300 Akoni Pule Highway in the small historical village of Kapa’au.

The annual Bon festival is a time for participants to honor ancestors and give thanks. There will be Taiko drumming by Kona Hongwanji Taiko group. A concession will be serving food for purchase.  Come dance under the summer stars in Kohala. Learn more here or contact Reverend Masanari Yamagishi at 808-798-2075

No. 13 — Ohrlando Concert “Mozart-Salieri, Friends or Enemies?” (June 30, Kona)

Indulge in some live music with the Ohrlando Concert “Mozart-Salier, Friends or Enemies?” at Kona Heavens.

Most people know the movie “Amadeus”. Pianist Ursula Hesse and oboe and bassoon player Roland Maurer will present some music and try to set the record straight between 5 and 6:30 p.m. Bring some food to participate in a potluck following the show. For more information, email [email protected] or call 808-315-7666

No. 14— 55th Hawaii Macadamia meeting and conference

On July 1, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., the 55th annual Hawai’i Macademia meeting and conference will take place at Nani Mau Gardens, 421 Makalika St. in Hilo. It includes presentations that will cover integrated pest management, orchard health, post-harvest factors to improve quality, and other topics relevant to farming, processing and marketing macadamias in Hawaii. 

The event costs $50, and you can learn more here.

No. 15 — Hilo Love Scavenger Hunt for Couples Date Night (June 29 or 30, Hilo)

Looking for love on the Big Island? Participate in the Hilo Love Scavenger Hunt for Couples Date Night. It uses a scavenger hunt app to give you a list of fun and crazy tasks to complete, as well as some cool things to look for and find around Hilo. There are even bonus challenges for more points. 

The event will start in downtown Hilo and tickets for the scavenger hunt are donation based with a suggested amount of $20. Couples can choose either June 29 or 30. It runs from 5 to 10 p.m. each night. For more information or tickets, click here.

No. 16 —  Partner Stretch Workshop (July 1, Hilo)

If you’ve been working hard and think it’s time to stretch it out with a loved one or friend, then this is the activity for you. On July 1, from 4:30-7:30 p.m., you and a partner can participate in this workshop for $100 to $150. It’s at 201 Kuikahi St. in Hilo.

Complete fun and interactive assisted stretching, food, meet and greet, vendors and more. Learn more here.

No. 17 — Awaken to Dream: Building Dream Awareness in 4 Simple Steps  (July 2 & 3, online)

Check out this two-hour, online workshop about dreaming by Kekuhi Kealiikanakaoleohaililani.

You will learn about its purpose and profound benefit, the dream traditions of Hawai’i’s Pele and Hi’iaka, and ways to build your own dream awareness to begin tapping into their potential.

Dreams contribute to wholeness, health and well-being. Tickets are $89 for one hour a day on July 2 and 3 from 6 to 7 p.m. Learn more here.

No. 18 — Ikaikamauloa 2023 boxing event (July 1, Kona)

Kuna Gold Boxing Club

The Ikaikamauloa Youth Foundation and the Kona Gold Boxing Club present the Ikaikamauloa 2023 boxing matches on July 1 from noon to 8 p.m. at the King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel Ballroom. Expect about 20 bouts.

The cost is $25 for ringside seating and $20 for general admission. Kids 8 and under get in free. There is $5 event parking within the hotel. Complimentary street parking is available. For more information and tickets, click here.

No. 19 —  Paint Hawaiian Ocean Art Class (July 1, Kona)

From Pahoehoe lava shores to beautiful white sand beaches, learn a variety of techniques in resin painting. During this class you can learn how to paint the ocean with beautiful water ripples or foam. Choose from a variety of sands and hand picked shells. You will be completing a 10″ round piece to keep. 

The class is on July 1, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Crafting Paradise, 72-1035 Pu’ukala Road in Kona. Learn more here. The cost is $150.

No. 20 — Fireworks Bean Bag Toss at the Home Depot (July 1, Kona)

A family-friendly event that will teach children about firework safety and includes a chance to decorate a beanbag board.

The free event on Saturday runs from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Home Depot, 73-5598 Olowalu St. in Kailua-Kona. Registration ends soon so sign up here.

Editorʻs Note: Send inquiries or event listings with attached photographs about Big Island entertainment, arts, music and community events to [email protected]To add events directly to the Big Island Events Calendar, click here.

Megan Moseley
Megan Moseley is a full-time journalist for Pacific Media Group. Her experience ranges from long and short-form reporting to print, digital, radio and television news coverage. In Hawaiʻi, she's worked for local media outlets and has covered a wide range of topics including local and state politics, environmental affairs, Native Hawaiian issues, travel, tourism and education. She covers the West for Restaurant Hospitality.

She's a 2010 graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Magazine Journalism and specializations in Geology and History. She's currently working on her master's degree from New York University and Ohio University and is focused on conflict resolution and peace practices in indigenous cultures in the Pacific.
Megan can be reached at [email protected].
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