Top 20 things to do on the Big Island Aug. 17-23: Benefit concerts to help Maui wildfire relief efforts, ‘Bladrunner’ at the Palace, Tanabata Japanese Star Festival and more

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From live music and old movies to a celebration of the Hawaiian honeycreeper, the Tanabata Japanese Star Festival and more, there’s plenty of events happening on the Big Island this week. But our top three things to do this week are benefit concerts aimed at helping Maui recover from deadly and devastating wildfires.

No. 1 — Wiwoʻole Maui Benefit Concert (Livestreaming, Aug. 19)

Courtesy of Wiwoʻole and Participating Artists

In this historic occurrence of unprecedented and catastrophic loss, the unifying and healing power of mele (music) has summoned Maui’s celebrated recording artists and hālau to gather for the Wiwoʻole Maui Benefit Concert (Livestream) on Saturday live-streamed from Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort.

Wiwoʻole #MauiStrong is dedicated to raising essential disaster relief funds urgently needed to support and sustain the victims of the Aug. 8 Maui wildfires that affected communities across the island and devastated the historic town of Lāhainā (traditionally known as Maluʻuluʻolele). Click here for more information and the livestream.

No. 2 — Benefit concert to support Maui wildfire relief and recovery efforts (Hawī, Aug. 17)

This benefit event for the families most affected by the deadly wildfires on Maui features the Big Island’s hottest Latin band Fuego and is planned for 5 to 9 p.m. tonight at the Kohala Resilience Hub Barn in Hawī.

Along with live music there will be a silent auction, potluck (bring your own beverage) and other services and goods offered by donation, with 100% of proceeds going toward relief and recovery efforts.

No. 3 — Maui Ola: A Benefit Concert for Maui (Waimea and livestreamed Aug. 20)

Event producers, musical artists, celebrities and community leaders aim to garner the attention and financial support of local, national and international audiences. (Photo courtesy of Maui Ola)

Hawaiʻi’s musicians, production professionals, media community and dozens of others are coming together from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday to raise funds to aloha Maui, using music as a vehicle to help the healing process, rallying much needed aid from throughout Hawai‘i and around the world to help with Maui wildfire relief and recovery efforts.


The benefit concert event will feature Mark Yamanaka, Kalaʻe & Kalena, Hoʻaikane, The Lim Family, Blayne Asing, Loeka and Kenny T., among others.

Show your support by heading to in-person concerts on O‘ahu and at the Parker Ranch Center in Waimea on the Big Island. Tune in on TV, at, on social media or on the radio. Invite family and friends to join you. Share the calls for support with everyone you know. Click here for more information.

No. 4 — “Bladerunner” for Throwback Thursday (Hilo, Aug. 17)

Image from Facebook event.

The historic Palace Theater in Downtown Hilo will be showing the 1982 action, drama, sci-fi film “Bladerunner” for Throwback Thursday. Starring Harrison Ford, this futurist film tells the story of a blade runner, forced by police continue his old job as a Replicant Hunter.

Box office and concessions open at 6:30 p.m. and the film starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are available now. General admission is $10 and cost for seniors or students is $9. The film is rated R. Click here for more information.

No. 5 — Stephen Inglis Cuts the Dead Some Slack (Hilo, Aug. 18)

Image from Facebook event.

Grammy nominated Na Hōkū Hanohano winning artist Stephen Inglis takes you on a transportational slack key journey through the songbook of the Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan and more.


The event takes place Friday at 7:30 p.m. Doors and concession open at 6:30 p.m. Live concert tickets are available now for $25. General admission is $35. For priority orchestra seating, with extra leg room, that ticket cost is $50. All tickets $5 more on day of the show. Tickets are non-refundable. Click here for more information.

No. 6 — Kōkua Kailua Monthly Stroll (Kailua-Kona, Aug. 20)

File photo from a past Kokua Kailua Monthly Stroll.

Kōkua Kailua Monthly Stroll is back on Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m. Kona’s Historic Kailua Village closes to vehicular traffic and becomes a festive, pedestrian-only outdoor marketplace that makes for a fun family-friendly day. Leashed dogs are welcome to stroll too.

The stroll stretches from Kailua Pier through Historic Kailua Village to Hualālai Road. Highlights include nearly 100 vendor booths showcasing the work of local artisans and crafters, musicians, and merchants offering a fantastic shopping experience and delicious dining options. Click here for more information.

No. 7 — Tanabata Japanese Star Festival (Hilo, Aug. 19)

The Tanabata Japanese Star Festival will feature special planetarium shows, Japanese crafts and traditional games, bon dance lessons, taiko performances, entertainment, ʻono food and more. (Courtesy photo)

The Tanabata Japanese Star Festival is back and happening at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i in Hilo from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free for the whole family to enjoy special planetarium shows, Japanese crafts and traditional games, bon dance lessons, taiko performances, entertainment, ʻono food and more.

“‘Imiloa is a place that celebrates Hawai‘i and its diverse community,” says ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center Executive Director, Ka‘iu Kimura. “We’re thrilled to be able to host the Tanabata Japanese Star Festival at ‘Imiloa again with the support of local sponsors and organizations. The last event in 2019 was a huge success and we look forward to welcoming the community at-large to enjoy Japanese cultural activities, crafts and entertainment.” Click here for more information.

No. 8 — Hana No‘eau Hawaiian Arts Festival (Hilo, Aug. 18-19)

The Hana No‘eau Hawaiian Arts Festival features the works of some of Hawai‘i’s finest artisans and producers of Hawaiian arts and crafts alongside cultural demonstrations and entertainment. (Courtesy photo)

The Edith Kanakaʻole Tennis Stadium in Hilo is hosting the Hana No‘eau Hawaiian Arts Festival, dedicated to the perpetuation of Hawaiian culture and arts, from 2 to 7 p.m. Aug. 18 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 19. The event is free and open to the public.

“Hana No‘eau” is often translated to “art,” but it can also include a wide variety of creative mediums. The festival spotlights creativity in the visual arts, literary arts and performing arts that link the past, present and future. The festival features the works of some of Hawai‘i’s finest artisans and producers of Hawaiian arts and crafts alongside cultural demonstrations and entertainment. Click here for more information.

No. 9 — Hot Potaytahs at the Lava Lounge (Volcano, Aug. 19)

Courtesy image

Check out the local band Hot Potaytahs from 5 to 10 p.m. Aug. 19 at Kīlauea Military Camp’s Lava Lounge. The band’s playlist is comprised of fresh arrangements of classic songs by artists such as Steely Dan, James Brown, The Meters, Bruno Mars, Doobie Brothers, Prince, Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Bonnie Raitt, David Bowie, No Doubt, Average White Band, Bee Gees, Freda Payne, Talking Heads and more.

Saturday’s event promises live music and a fun. Click here for more information.

No. 10 — Celebrate Hawaiian Honeycreeper Day (Hilo, Aug. 20)

Courtesy photo

Come visit the Panaʻewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens, located at 800 Stainback Highway in Hilo, on Aug. 20 in Hilo to help highlight and celebrate the relationships we have with our wonderful manu and learn about ongoing conservation efforts on Maui for the honeycreepers and the environments they call home.

The event is free and family-friendly.

No. 11 — Floating Lantern Festival (Kohala Aug. 20)

File photo of a past floating lantern event at the Fairmont Orchid.

The public is invited to attend the this festival from 5 to 7 p.m. Aug. 20 at Fairmont Orchid, a resort on the Kohala Coast, in partnership with North Hawai‘i Hospice.

The event will include live music, hula, taiko drummers, Hawaiian chanting and a sunset lantern release into Pauoa Bay. Admission is free. Floating lanterns for inscribing messages and decorating will be provided for a suggested donation of $25; however, lantern quantities are limited. Lanterns can be reserved online in advance.

No. 12 — 13th Annual Abstract Only! National Exhibit (Hilo, through Sept. 14)

The Abstract Only! exhibit continues through Sept. 14 at the Wailoa Center in Hilo. (Image from Facebook event)

This is one of Wailoa Centerʻs most popular juried shows and features abstract works by artists from throughout the United States and Hawaiʻi. Come focus on texture, color, composition and line work in this celebration of abstract art.

​This year exhibit at the Hilo art center includes 75 pieces by 63 different artists. Works were selected by juror Ming Li Jiang, whose works are featured in the center’s Fountain Gallery.

The art center’s hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the first Saturday of each month. Click here for more information.

No. 13 — “Toil & Trouble” (Kealakekua, Aug. 18-20)

Image from Facebook event.

This hilarious adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” pits friend against friend, ambition against fate, pet-sitting against miniature vicuna mogul-dom. Don’t miss this the last weekend of this show at Aloha Theater. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Aug. 18-19 and 4 p.m. Aug. 20.

Underemployed friends Adam, Matt and Beth are desperate to beat the recession any way they can — like combining forces to take over a small island in South America. But when a fortune cookie tells Matt that he will rule and Beth gets a little too handy with a dagger, plans go awry. Click here for more information.

No. 14 — Soundbath & Tea (Hilo, Aug. 19)

Image from Facebook event.

Connect with community over local-grown herbal tea beginning at 5 p.m. on Saturday, then luxuriate in awareness-expanding and soothing meditation and music. Bring a friend, a pillow and a blanket.

Guided by Lindsay Cloyd and Amanda Rose, both vocalists and multi-instrumentalists who delight in the opportunity to weave together and create harmony, this event is hosted by Hot Yoga Hilo, located at 336 Kamehameha Ave., the only heated yoga studio in Downtown Hilo.

No. 15 — Silly School Photos (Kailua-Kona, Aug. 23)

Image from Facebook event.

Come down to Keauhou Shopping Center, located at 78-6831 Ali‘i Drive in Kailua-Kona, from 3 to 6 p.m. Aug. 23 for some silly pictures for the 2023-24 school year.

Get “eXcited” and capture the back-to-school spirit of keiki. The shopping center is bringing the goofy props and camera; it’s up to the kids to bring the smiles, fashion and fun. Click here for more information.

No. 16 — Story Time at Hawaiʻi Keiki Museum (Kailua-Kona, Aug. 21)

Image from Facebook event.

The museum, located at 75-5533 Luhia St. Building D in Kailua-Kona, hosts this event from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. each Monday for children up to 5 years old. The event offers a safe space for keiki and their caregivers to meet and enjoy an organized story time led by local retired preschool teachers.

Featured during this month’s installments are Hawaiʻi favorites.

No. 17 — Community Dinner & a Movie on Taco Tuesday (Honokaʻa, Aug. 22)

The Creative Energy Lab in Honokaʻa hosts Community Dinner & a Movie on Taco Tuesday each Tuesday. (Courtesy photo)

From 4 to 10 p.m. each Tuesday, Creative Energy Lab, located at 45-163 Kia Manu Rd. #6 in Honokaʻa, picks a movie at random from a list of requests, with a little keiki friendly movie from 4 to 6:44 p.m. and movies with PG-13 or higher ratings from 7 to 10 p.m.

Come early to play and eat tacos (a $3 donation per taco is appreciated but no one will be turned away for lack of funds) before getting cozy for the movie. The space is just getting started, so those who attend are asked to bring their own chairs, blankets, tarps, pillows, futons, etc., and head lamps, lanterns, flashlights or no spill candles for lighting.

No. 18 — Hilo Town Market in Downtown (Hilo, Aug. 18)

File photo of a night at Hilo Town Market.

The Hilo Town Market on Friday nights is always a happening time. The festivities kick off at 5 p.m. in Downtown Hilo near the old Hilo Shark’s Coffee at 69 Waianuenue Ave. and last until 9 p.m.

As always, there will be live music, a variety of craft vendors, jewelry and specialty items for sale, artists and, of course, food. The market is free entrance for all ages.

No. 19 — Explore the Summit at Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park (Volcano, daily)

Explore the summit area at Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park on a 1-hour guided hike. (National Park Service photo)

Meet outside the Kīlauea Visitor Center entrance any day at 11 a.m. or 2 p.m. for this guided 1-hour hike to discover what makes Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park such a special place.

Take a short (up to a half-mile) walk with a ranger as you explore the summit. Topics vary from geology and ecology to Hawaiian culture. Check at Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai for more information on topics for the day, and to see additional offerings.

No. 20 — Niaulani Nature Walk (Volcano, Aug. 21)

Take a guided walk through the most diverse, intact and accessible, old-growth koa/’ohi’a rain forest remaining in the state. (Courtesy of Volcano Art Center)

Guided nature walks through the rain forest at Niaulani are offered at 9:30 a.m. Mondays at Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village. The one hour, free guided walks introduce individuals, families and groups to the most diverse, intact and accessible, old-growth koa/’ohi’a rain forest remaining in the state. No reservations are required for groups of five or less.

Participants meet at the art center’s Niaulani Gallery. Donations are greatly appreciated. Click here for more information.

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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