Puʻukoholā Heiau National Historic Site on Big Island reopens following close call with wildfires
Puʻukoholā Heiau National Historic Site in North Kohala is reopen to the public following a close call earlier this week with wildfires on the Big Island that firefighters prevented from entering the park.
The Hoʻokuʻikahi Hawaiian Cultural Festival, which commemorates the 51st anniversary of the establishment of Puʻukoholā Heiau National Historic Site, will be conducted this weekend as planned.
Earlier this week, brush fires near the historic heiau (temple) triggered evacuations in communities north and south of the heiau as dangerously high winds tore through Kohala. Numerous fallen trees, large branches, debris and other unsafe tripping hazards were cleaned up by park staff eager to reopen the heiau in time for the beloved annual festival.
“On behalf of all of our staff, we mahalo again the fast-acting efforts of all the firefighters who helped protect Puʻukoholā from the wildfires that flared up around us,” said Puʻukoholā Heaiu National Historic Site Superintendent Daniel Kawaiaea. “We are looking forward to the Hoʻokuʻikahi and sharing Hawaiian culture with our community and visitors all weekend.”
Festivities start at 6 a.m. Aug. 12 with a hoʻokupu (gift giving) ceremony just below Pu’ukoholā Heiau followed by workshops and demonstrations showcasing traditional Hawaiian arts and crafts, including ulana lauhala (lauhala weaving), holo waʻa (canoe rides), kuiki (quilting), Hawaiian games, lei haku ame lei wili (different lei-making styles), ulana niu (coconut frond weaving), kapa making, ʻohe hano ihu (bamboo nose flute) and live Hawaiian music.
Hoʻokuʻikahi events continue Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and conclude at 3 p.m. both days.
Puʻukoholā Heaiu National Historic Site shares the history of the beginning stages of the Hawaiian Kingdom and is open year-round. Learn more on the park website.