Big Island 4th of July events: from morning turtle release to night fireworks
July 1, 2023, 2:30 AM HST
* Updated July 4, 7:07 AM
Independence Day will be a blast this year, with star-spangled, family-friendly events featured all around the Big Island.
There’s something for everybody, from keiki to kūpuna, whether testing your luck in the annual rubber duckie derby at the Kings’ Shops in Waikoloa, watching paniolo compete in the Parker Ranch July 4th Rodeo and Horse Races in Waimea, perusing the classic and vintage cars on display at the Hilo soccer fields, or taking in all the red, white and blue of the Fourth of July parades.
There’s even Turtle Independence Day at Mauna Lani in Kohala. And of course there will be fireworks, so get ready to “ooo” and “aaah” all you want.
Here’s a list of Fourth of July activities happening around the island:
Nāʻālehu Independence Day Parade and Celebration
When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday (July 1)
Details: The parade begins at 11 a.m. and will be followed by a celebration at Nāʻālehu Park that will include a water slide, bounce house, senior Bingo and lunch at the community center. There also will be hot dogs, shave ice and watermelon. Vendors will be set up at the regular farmers market site. For more information, call 808-929-9872 or visit www.okaukakou.org.
A Salute to Our Veterans Hilo Bay 5K Run/Walk 2023
When: 7 a.m., July 4
Details: The 5K run/walk begins at Liliʻuokalani Gardens on Banyan Drive. For more information or to register, visit www.ASaluteToOurVeterans.org. Or you can contact Archie Hapai at 808-825-1917 or via email at [email protected].
59th Annual Parker Ranch July 4th Rodeo and Horse Races
When: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 4
Where: Parker Ranch Rodeo Arena, 67-1349 Ala Ohia St., Waimea
Details: This long-standing tradition promotes camaraderie and friendly competition among the various Hawai‘i Island ranches. Paniolo (Hawaiian cowboys) will compete in various events, including horse races, team roping and more. A variety of crafts and food from Big Island vendors, as well as keiki activities such as a petting zoo and pony rides, also will be available. For more information and online ticket sales, visit www.parkerranch.com.
Celebrate Fourth of July at Cooper Center
When: 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 4
Where: Cooper Center, 19-4030 Wright Road, Volcano
Details: A parade from the Volcano Post Office to the Cooper Center begins at 9 a.m. Many crafters, multiple food vednors, children’s games, entertainment and a silent auction are planned at the center. The auction is from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and winners should be present to pick up items they win. For more information, click here.
Turtle Independence Day at Mauna Lani
When: 9 a.m. July 4
Where: Oceanfront in front of the Surf Shack, Mauna Lani, 68-1400 Mauna Lani Drive, Waimea
Details: An annual community celebration to witness the release into the Pacific Ocean of endangered green sea turtle hatchlings that have been reared and cared for in the resort’s Honu Lagoon for two to three years. The event lasts for about three hours. Come early because parking spaces fill up fast. Open to resort guests and the community. For more information, click here.
Hot Rides Expo
When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 4
Where: Hilo soccer fields (mauka), Hilo Bayfront
Details: Featuring vintage, classic and futuristic vehicles. All show vehicles are welcome to participate at no charge and can roll in from 7:30 a.m. at the former gas station on the corner of Kamehameha Avenue and Pauahi Street. Live music will feature Chip Douglas, OL’s School Band, Saddle Road, Johnny Ness and Hot Potaytahs. Food trucks and children’s activities, including water slides and bounce houses, also will be available. For more information, call the Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation’s Culture and Education Division at 808-961-8706.
Great Waikōloa Rubber Duckie Race
When: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 4
Where: Kings’ Shops, 250 Waikōloa Beach Drive, Waikōloa
Details: This spec-quackular benefit for the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Hawai‘i is one of the Kings’ Shops most exciting events. And because duckie derby day is more than just a race, Kings’ Shops presents a full schedule of family-friendly Fourth of July activities throughout the open air mall, including a watermelon eating contest at A-Bay’s Island Grill, a shave ice contest at the Original Big Island Shave Ice Company, music by Johnny Shot Band and plenty of special offers. After the race at 3 p.m., more contests will challenge the brave to hunt for, quack like and waddle like a duck — all for fun prizes and bragging rights. For more information, visit www.kingsshops.com.
Hawai‘i Island 4th of July Family Bash
When: 2 to 8 p.m. July 4
Where: Wailoa State Recreation Area main pavilion, Hilo
Details: Fun games with prizes, food and entertainment by Keaukaha’s own Kihei and JJ Ahuna. Stay to watch the fireworks show over Hilo Bay at 8 p.m. For more information, click here.
4th of July Extravaganza
When: 2 to 6 p.m. July 4
Where: Queens’ Marketplace, 69-201 Waikōloa Beach Drive, Waikōloa
Details: This family event will feature live music by Ku Ma’ema’e, Tomi Isobe and Blues Dogs and Off Da Cuff; keiki carnival games such as Tin Can Knock Down, Tic-Tac-Toe, Bottle Up and Bank-a-Ball, with prizes while supplies last; face painting; popcorn; cotton candy; photobooth; lawn games including corn hole, ring toss, Jenga and Connect 4; an outdoor market; and giveaways. For more information, click here.
Fourth of July Celebration at the Grand Naniloa Hotel
When: 3:30 to 8:30 p.m. July 4
Where: Grand Naniloa Hotel, 93 Banyan Drive, Hilo
Details: Enjoy an afternoon and evening of family fun with food featuring traditional barbecue items such as freshly grilled hamburgers and hot dogs with all the fixings, lawn games including jumbo Connect Four and inflatable soccer darts, keiki face painting and music provided by Big Island favorite Patrick Cabuyadao, also known as “DJPa3CO,”before getting a front row seat to the annual fireworks display over Hilo Bay. For more information, visit www.grandnaniloahilo.com.
Kailua-Kona Fourth of July Parade
When: 6 p.m. July 4
Where: Along Kuakini Highway and Ali’i Drive, from Loloku Street to Walua Road, Kailua-Kona
Details: The parade is presented by the Kailua-Kona Community Parade Association in partnership with the Rotary Clubs of West Hawai‘i and the Kailua Village Business Improvement District. For the complete parade route and a list of road closures that will be in effect from 5:45 to 8:15 p.m., visit https://paradesinkona.com/.
Peace, Love and 4th of July Fireworks Exhibition
When: 8 p.m. July 4
Where: Kailua Bay, Kailua-Kona
Details: Annual fireworks exhibition and professional pyrotechnics show set off from a barge moored in Kailua Bay. For more information, visit https://paradesinkona.com/.
Hilo Bay Blast
When: 8 p.m. July 4
Where: Hilo Bay, Hilo
Details: Annual fireworks exhibition and professional pyrotechnics show set off from a barge moored in Hilo Bay. The Hawai‘i County Band will present live accompaniment to the fireworks with a performance beginning at 7 p.m. at the Mo‘oheau Park bandstand. The fireworks display also will be synchronized to patriotic music aired on KWXX. For more information including parking lot and road closures and special viewing areas, click here or call the Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation’s Culture and Education Division at 808-961-8706.