Top 20 things to do on the Big Island July 27-Aug. 2: Hilo Orchid Show gala, Volcano Festival, Comedy Show

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We all need a few laughs, something beautiful to admire and a little more fun so why not check out the Volcano Festival, a comedy show in Kona and the Orchid Show gala preview party. They are among this week’s Top 20 things to do on the Big Island. 

And for a comprehensive list of upcoming events – concerts, shows, entertainment, community gatherings and outdoor/farmers markets – for this week and beyond, click here.

No. 1 – 4th Annual Experience Volcano Festival (Volcano, July 29 & 30)

Experience Volcano Hawaii is hosting its 4th Annual Experience Volcano Festival this weekend, with a wide array of local art, food, music and Hawaiian cultural performances. Festivities will span the Volcano Area with a concentration of activities in the heart of historic Volcano Village.

Restaurants will feature special menus and drink options alongside their everyday menus. Some vendors include Hilo Baykery and Island Hop Designs. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is free. Learn more here.

No. 2 – ‘Ohi’a lehua half marathon and 5K (Volcano, July 29)

In conjunction with the Experience Volcano Festival, the annual ‘Ohi’a lehua runs will be held on Saturday.

The half marathon and 5K races begin and end in Volcano Village. The half marathon will take runners up Wright Road thorugh a beautiful ʻohiʻa forest with scenic views of Maunakea and Mauna Loa. Learn more here.

No. 3 – Hilo Orchid Show Gala Preview Party (Hilo, July 27)


Looking for something beautiful to take in this week? Then the Orchid Show Gala Preview Party on Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Edith Kanaka’ole Stadium in Hilo is perfect for you.

The “fun”-raiser kicks off the Annual Orchid Show and Sale in Hilo and raises funds for peace and agriculture. All ticket proceeds benefit the non-profit Ku’ikahi Mediation Center and the cause of “Finding Solutions, Growing Peace.” All silent auction proceeds benefit Hilo Orchid Society’s agriculture student scholarship fund.

There will be food, music and a sneak preview of the displays. Orchids will be available to buy. Tickets are available at The Most Irresistible Shop, Day-Lum Properties and Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center. For reservations or table sponsorships, call 808-935-7844 ext. 1 or visit this site.

No. 4 – 9th Annual Summer Jam (Hilo, July 29)

The Big Island Substance Abuse Council is hosting the 9th Annual Summer Jam festival at the Civic Auditorium on Saturday from 8 a.m. until the afternoon.

‘Ono food, live entertainment, shopping, keiki activities, health and business expo, and we didn’t forget the Bus Pull and Strongman & Woman Competitions.


Check out the fun during this drug free, alcohol free and nicotine free event. For more information, click here.

No. 5 – MacFest 2023 at Mac Nut Factory (Honoka’a, July 29)

Mac Nut Factory

Get ready to go nuts at the MacFest 2023 at the Mac Nut Factory in Honoka’a Town on Saturday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

There will be live music, local restaurants such as Oyatsu Sush and food trucks, including the ʻOhana Food Trailer that will be serving up mac nut specials. There will also be mac nut themed games and contests, a mac nut dessert contest; pop up vendors and plenty of shopping in Honoka’a Town. Event is free. Learn more here.

No. 6 – Hawaiʻi AcroFest at Kalani Retreat Center (Pāhoa, July 27-29)

Head to the jungle for Hawai’i Acrofest: Acro-Yoga, Music & Art Festival starting on Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m. During the three-day festival you can learn a variety of acro tricks, indulge in some live music and experience art, dance and more at the Kalani Retreat Center. Ticket costs vary depending on days and events. Learn more here.

No. 7 – Cyanotype workshop at Kalani Oceanside Retreat Center (Pāhoa, July 27)

A cyanotype workshop will be held on Thursday, from noon to 2:30 p.m. at the Kalani Oceanside Retreat Center. The workshop costs $45 and you can register here.


During the class, you will have the opportunity to experiment with cyanotype techniques on both paper and fabric, creating unique and stunning prints. Each participant will leave with multiple paper prints and their very own custom tote bag adorned with their cyanotype artwork. 

All materials are included. Light snack and cold drinks provided. Be aware to not wear clothes that you don’t want to get messy. Participants in the workshop will also get a discount to the Hawai’i AcroFest: Acro-Yoga, Music & Art Festival.

No. 8 – Mike Vaz Presents: Comedy at The HI Dive Bar (Kealakekua, July 29)

Looking to share some laughs this weekend? Why not head up to South Kona’s HI Dive Bar on Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m. Comedians Justine Smith, Yasir Bey, AJ Higlesias and Kevin Hobbs will be on stage. Mike Vaz hosts the event. It costs $10 and you can prepay via Venmo @mikevaz or provide cash at the door.

Before the official comedy begins, there will be an open mic show.

No. 9 – Journey Through the 60’s (Hilo, July 28)

Head to the Hilo Palace Theater at 7 p.m. for a show that will feature two bands covering all your favorite 60’s songs.

Cost for general admission is $36, with $46 tickets available for Priority Orchestra. The bands featured will be Fourever Fab and Sixtiesmania. Both are known worldwide for their passion for rock ʻn roll.

No. 10 – Bon Dance at the Taishoji Soto Mission (Hilo, July 29)

Taishoji Soto Mission is hosting its annual Bon Dance at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Join the celebration to welcome ancestors back for the day.

Dance around the Yagura to traditional and modern Bon songs. There will be performances by Taishoji Taiko, and food concessions will also be available. This is a free event and welcome to everyone.

No. 11 – Keoki Kahumoku performs at Pāpaʻaloa Country Store & Cafe (Pāpaʻaloa, July 27)

Check out some Kihoʻalu, or slack key music and ukulele from Big Island’s own recording artist Keoki Kahumoku at the Pāpaʻaloa Country Store & Cafe on Thursday from 5:30-7:30 p.m. He’ll be featuring a variety of Hawaiian and contemporary music.

Kahumoku is a fifth generation slack-key guitarist, ‘ukulele performer and teacher with deep roots in Hawai‘i. He shares his passion for Hawaiian music and culture through performances and lessons, both in Hawai‘i and on the mainland. Learn more here.

No. 12 – Lā Mākeke Pop-Up Market (Kohala, July 28)

From 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Friday, you can shop oceanside and check out some unique and handcrafted goods from a selection of Hawai’i Island’s finest artisans.

The Lā Mākeke Pop-Up Market will take place at the Fairmont Orchid Hawai’i located along the Kohala Coast. The event is free and open to the public. Complementary parking available. Learn more here.

No. 13 – The Mom Walk Collective: Hilo Mama’s Night Out! (Hilo, July 28)

To all the Big Island moms out there that need a night out, this is for you.

Register online and head to Ola Brew Co. from 6:30 to 9 p.m. The Mom Walk Collective is a nationwide group that aims to cultivate relationships and social interactions amongst mothers. The night out is free, just bring money for food and beverages.

No. 14 – Slack Key with Jeff Peterson (Honoka’a, July 28)

Head down to the Honoka’a Public Library from 5 to 5:45 p.m. on Thursday to check out slack key guitarist Jeff Peterson, who will be presenting a program of soothing guitar music that celebrates Polynesian navigation by the stars and Maui’s Haleakalā mountain sky where he grew up.

Hear stories of his grandfather lecturing at the Bishop Museum Planetarium, and original music including “Hawaiian Skies” from “The Descendants” film soundtrack. This program is suitable for all ages and is free. Learn more here.

No. 15 – Miss Amber Lily at Kukuau Studio (Hilo, July 29)

Up and coming artist Miss Amber Lily will perform at the Kukuau Studio in downtown Hilo on Saturday. Doors open at 6 p.m. and music will start at 7 p.m. The cost is $20.

Watch her live here.

No. 16 – Seeds of Knowledge Community Fair at public library (Kohala, July 29)

Thelma Parker Memorial Public Library in Kohala is hosting The Seeds of Knowledge Community Fair as part of its end-of-summer reading challenge celebration. The community is invited to learn about the amazing people and organizations of Waimea during this free family-friendly event on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

At the event, there will be educational activities, solar viewing, seed paper, water safety and ocean awareness, agriculture, emergency preparedness and watershed booths. Activities include plant and seed giveaways, chess, coloring, pressed flower bookmarks, UV light bead bracelets and free solar viewing glasses for the upcoming eclipses. Learn more here.

No. 17 – Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea Celebration (Paʻauilo, July 29)

On Saturday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., celebrate Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea (Sovereignty Restoration Day) at the Pa’auilo Elementary & Intermediate School’s field. Gather, sing, chant, pule, prepare, organize, regenerate, reconnect and cultivate even deeper aloha for the ʻāina and lāhui together.

King Kamehameha III established Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea and was later revived in 1985 by Uncle Kekuni Blaisdell and other kānaka aloha ʻāina as a way to give voice to Hawaiian independence and to issues surrounding the return and demilitarization of Hawaiian lands. Learn more here.

No. 18 – Live Sunset Painting (Kona, July 28)

If you’re ready to flex your creative muscle, check out this free live painting event in Kona at the oceanfront Rokoff Studio, 75-5744 Aliʻi Dr., Suite #57.

Every Friday, Alexander Rokoff will paint a sunset and you can watch and enjoy as the artist brings his vision to life. The event is free and open to the public. Painting starts at sunset.

No. 19 – SCP Hilo presents Live Music with Genesis “Pililani” Pua-Kaipo (Hilo, July 30)

Local artist Genesis “Pililani” Pua-Kaipo will perform on Sunday from 6 to 8 p.m. at SCP Hilo, a hotel located at 126 Banyan Way.

Pua-Kaipo is known for her mesmerizing performances and soulful melodies. Get ready to be captivated by her unique blend of Hawaiian and contemporary music. Whether you’re a fan of acoustic ballads or upbeat tunes, her performance will leave you wanting more. The event is free. Learn more here.

No. 20 – Business International Network’s Big Island Mixer (Hilo, July 28)

Business Network International will be hosting a Big Island mixer from 5 to 7 p.m. at The Venue, 811 Laukapu Street in Hilo.

The mixer will allow members to network and for guests to join the network. A $10 cover at the door will cover pupus and venue. Learn more here.

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

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