Top 20 things to do on the Big Island Aug. 24-30: Reggae on the Runway, Kenny Tagavilla at The View, Honua’ula Forest Reserve Hike and much more

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The Big Island is hopping into this week with plenty of events, including Reggae on the Runway in Kona and the second annual Mauka Makai Drag Show to raise funds for the Honoka‘a Business Association to the 38th annual Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club show.

There’s also live music, a Throwback Thursday movie at the Palace in Hilo, a hike in the Honua’ula Forest Reserve above Kona, a “you pick” harvest event in Puna, and much, much more.

Check out our top 20 things to do on the Big Island for Aug. 24-30 below.

No. 1 — Reggae on the Runway (Kona, Aug. 26)

The annual Reggae on the Runway Festival is this weekend at Old Kona Airport Park. Megan Moseley/Big Island Now.

This Saturday, Hawai’i artists will join together at Old Kona Airport park, located on an old landing strip just north of Kailua-Kona, for the annual Reggae on the Runway Festival, featuring live music from 3:45 to 11 p.m. with performances by Common Kings, Sammy Johnson, FIA, Kolea and Ku’ulei Music, among others.

Tickets are $35 and on sale now. They can be purchased online or at Oshima Surf in Hilo, Waimea and Kona, Quicksilver in Waikōloa, Honolua Surf on Ali’i Drive in Kona or Joanne’s Lounge in Hilo. Click here to learn more.

No. 2 — Kenny Tagavilla at The View (Kona, Aug. 26)

Kona’s own Kenny Tagavilla performs this weekend at The View. Megan Moseley/Big Island Now.

Nā Hōkū Hanohano nominee and Kona’s own Kenny Tagavilla, known for original songs such as “Kona Grown” and “Crusin’,” is performing live from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at The View in Kona.


The View, located in Keauhou at the Kona Country Club at 78-7000 Ali‘i Drive, does not charge for seating. Guests can order food or drinks and enjoy the show.

No. 3 — Honua’ula Forest Reserve Hike (Kona, Aug. 27)

The Honua’ula Forest Reserve, a fern and ʻōhiʻa cloud forest, is located above Kona. (Courtesy image)

Outdoor enthusiasts have the opportunity to hike a fern and ʻōhiʻa cloud forest at a cooler elevation of about 4,000 feet in the Honua’ula Forest Reserve off Kaloko Drive, directly mauka of Kona. Traverse a 5-mile loop connecting the pipeline road/trail and ending at Makahi Road. There will also be a shorter loop option of about 2 miles for those who want a lighter experience.

Leashed dogs are welcome. It is recommended hikers bring mosquito repellent, long pants, hiking shoes and at least a liter or two of water. The walk is free, begins at 9 a.m. and should last until about noon. Learn more online.

No. 4 — Second annual Mauka Makai Drag Show (Honoka’a, Aug. 26)

The Mauka Makai Drag Show is a fundraiser for the Honoka‘a Business Association. (Image from Eventbrite)

This fabulous fundraiser for the Honoka‘a Business Association returns for another unforgettable night of entertainment, showcasing the skills and creativity in a dazzling display of drag artistry of several talented performers from the mainland, Honolulu and the Big Island.

The show is from 7:30 to 10 p.m. at Honoka‘a People’s Theatre, located at 45-3574 Mamane St. Come early and enjoy food trucks from 5 to 9 p.m. The event sold out last year, so get your tickets today. Click here for ticket information and to purchase.


The Honoka‘a Business Association also will be donating a portion of the show’s profits to Maui wildfire relief efforts.

No. 5 — Help clean the gardens for the Queen’s birthday (Hilo, Aug. 26)

The community is invited to help the Friends of Lili‘uokalani Gardens spruce up Lili‘uokalani Park and Gardens in Hilo in time for the Queen’s birthday. (Image from Facebook)

The Friends of Lili‘uokalani Gardens invites the community from 8 a.m. to noon to come help spruce up Lili‘uokalani Park and Gardens on Banyan Drive in Hilo, just in time for the Queen’s birthday.

Some garden tools and gloves will be available for those who do not have any, but people are encouraged to bring their own if they can. Wear closed-toe shoes and gather at the small parking lot near the tea house. Beverages will be provided.

No. 6 — 38th annual Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club show and sale (Honalo, Aug. 27)

Image from Facebook

Get “Back to Our Orchid Roots” during this colorful and fragrant orchid show and sale from 8 a.m. to noon at the Daifukuji Soto Mission Hall, located at 79-7241 Māmalahoa Highway in Honalo.

This year’s show and sale highlights the original orchids native to Hawai’i and the history of how the Big Island became the Orchid Isle. The event also offers a reflection on the Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club’s journey to return to its roots and reshape itself.


The show and sale will include demonstrations about “orchid-gami” and how to care for orchids. Taiko drummers will perform at 10 a.m., and you can even take a self-guided tour of the mission’s on-site Orchid Grotto.

No. 7 — Blue Moon Poppet Crafting Workshop (Honoka‘a, Aug. 30)

Image from Eventbrite

Women, join the staff at Rising Moon Spiritual Apothecary, located at 45-3620 Mamane St. in Honoka‘a, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. for a magical evening of in-person crafting and dive into the enchanting world of poppet making under the mystical presence of a blue moon.

Whether you’re a seasoned witch or just curious about the craft, this workshop is perfect for all levels of experience. Discover the ancient art of poppetry and tap into its powerful connection with the spiritual realm. For more information, including ticket prices, click here.

No. 8 — Monday Night Jazz Jam (Hilo, Aug. 28)

Image from Facebook

This weekly jam session from 6 to 9 p.m. every Monday at Kukuau Studio, located at 43 Kukuau St. in Hilo, is all-inclusive with a rotating house band.

Bring your favorite charts and the instrument of your choice or enjoy the vibrations of people improvising together in the jazz tradition. The event is free for all ages. For additional information, click here.

No. 9 — “In the Moonlight” with Meng-Chieh Liu (Waimea, Aug. 26)

Courtesy image

As a companion event to the George Nuku sculpture residency in Volcano, pianist Meng-Chieh Liu explores the night music of Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, Rachmaninov and Szymanowski. Gustav Highstein joins him for Schumann’s Romances for oboe and piano.

Just as the moon moves the tides of the ocean with invisible forces, music acts on the inner world of our imagination, emotions and feelings.

This performance is part of Kahilu Theatre’s Overture program in which children ages 8 to 18 years old are admitted free when accompanied by a ticket-holding parent or guardian. Use promo code “OVERTURE” at checkout. The live event will take place at the theater, located at 67-1186 Lindsey Road in Waimea, at 3 p.m. Tickets start at $35 and are available now. Click here for more information.

No. 10 — Kainaliu Town Block Party (Kainaliu, Aug. 25)

Courtesy image

This monthly celebration of local talent, food and community will feature the Maka Trio playing music at So’K Station, located at 79-7387 Māmalahoa Highway, this Friday from 4 p.m. to sunset, or about 7:30 p.m.

The block party, put on between So’K Station and Creative Costumes, includes local businesses, live music, an art exhibit at Moonsun Art Gallery, food and drinks from local vendors and nonprofit fundraisers. The event is free and family-friendly. Bring your own chair.

No. 11 — “Purple Rain” at the Palace (Hilo, Aug. 24)

Image from Facebook

Join the historic Palace Theater at 38 Haili St. in Downtown Hilo for a Throwback Thursday screening of the 1984 movie starring Prince, Apollonia Kotero and Morris Day and directed by Albert Magnoli.

A victim of his own anger, the Kid, played by Prince, is a Minneapolis musician on the rise with his band, the Revolution, escaping a tumultuous home life through music. While trying to avoid making the same mistakes as his truculent father, the Kid navigates the club scene and a rocky relationship with a captivating singer. But another musician looks to steal the Kid’s spotlight – and his girl.

Rated R. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are available now. For more information or to purchase tickets in advance, click here.

No. 12 — Live music with recording artist Keoki Kahumoku (Pāpaʻaloa, Aug. 24)

Image from Facebook

Join Pāpaʻaloa Country Store & Cafe, located at 35-2032 Old Māmalahoa Highway, for a night of authentic Kiho‘alu (slack key guitar) and ‘ukulele presented live by recording artist Keoki Kahumoku, who will play a variety of Hawaiian and contemporary music from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

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 in Hawai‘i and on the mainland.

No. 13 — Hot Potaytahs at the Palace (Hilo, Aug. 25)

Screenshot from Palace Theater website

The Palace Theater at 38 Haili St. in Downtown Hilo is putting on a dance party live on its stage featuring the Hot Potaytahs.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the party starts at 7 p.m., featuring the funky classics, rocking covers and piping fresh originals by the band made up of Yisa Var, Charles Haines, Bill Heideman, Gonzo, Trever Veilleux, Jeff Silberman and Randy Skaggs.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online now.

No. 14 — “Phase Change: Porcelain in Flux” exhibit (Hōlualoa, Aug. 26)

The “Phase Change: Porcelain in Flux” exhibit will run from Aug. 26 through Oct. 14 at the Donkey Mill Art Center. (Image from Facebook)

Starting this weekend, the “Phase Change: Porcelain in Flux” exhibit will be on display through Oct. 14 at the Donkey Mill Art Center at 78-6670 Māmalahoa Highway in Hōlualoa. An opening reception is planned for 5 to 7 p.m. Aug. 26.

The exhibit presents a survey of the creative potential of porcelain as an expressive material, one that exists at the intersection of industry and aesthetics. Through their expertise and deep knowledge of the material, artists push the conventional boundaries of how porcelain exists in the popular imagination.

“Phase Change” features artwork by 10 Hawaiʻi-based artists: Gerald Ben, Jisoo Boggs, Stephen Freedman, Charlton Kūpaʻa Hee, Claire Seastone, Shelby Smith, Shawn Spangler, Brad Taylor, Suzanne Wang and Suzanne Wolfe. The exhibition was curated by Jake Boggs and Mina Elison.

No. 15 — Exploring the Pluto System and Kuiper Belt Object Arrokoth with NASA’s New Horizons (Waimea, Aug. 30)

Courtesy image

Alan Stern, principal investigator with NASA’s New Horizons Mission Southwest Research Institute, will talk about the mission, the scientific payload it carries and some of the many findings from the exploration of the Pluto System and a Kuiper Belt Object named Arrokoth.

The New Horizons is the first spacecraft to successfully explore the Pluto System and Arrokoth, making history as the farthest flyby ever in our solar system. Stern’s talk will conclude with a look at where the spacecraft is today as it continues to explore further into the Kuiper Belt.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The event begins at 7 p.m. at Kahilu Theatre, located at 67-1186 Lindsey Road in Waimea, and is free and open to the public.

No. 16 — Groovetrain at Blue Dragon Tavern (Kawaihae, Aug. 27)

Image from Facebook

Groovetrain is a Big Island-based funky, soulful, blues trio led by multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Ben Yahraus. The band plays original music with a few classics sprinkled in, bringing a sweet island energy through tasty guitar licks and funky bass grooves.

Doors at 5 p.m. and the show is from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Blue Dragon Tavern, located at 61-3616 Kawaihae Road in Kawaihae. Tickets are $10 in advance or $13 at the door; children 12 and younger are free. Tickets can be purchased online at the Blue Dragon Tavern website.

No. 17 — AEGIS Live at the Palace (Hilo, Aug. 27)

Image from Facebook

Filipino rock band AEGIS performs live at 5 p.m. at the Palace Theater at 38 Haili St. in Downtown Hilo for one night only. The event is presented by Island Living Productions & Entertainment, Bean & Vanilla, JT Sounds & Visuals Productions, LSL Production and the All Is Well Foundation.

Doors open at 4 p.m. Tickets, starting at $85, are available online now. Ticket prices are $5 more the day of the show at the Palace box office.

No. 18 — After Dark in the Park presents “Nani O Kahuku: A One-Woman Living History Play” (Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Aug. 29)

A fence along the Palm Trail in the Kahuku Unit of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. The Kahuku Ranch was once one of the biggest cattle ranches in Hawaiʻi, producing beef and hides for more than 150 years. (Courtesy of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park)

Re-live a day on the historic Kahuku Ranch through this performance adapted by Jackie Pualani-Johnson directly from the diary of Hannah “Nani” Piʻilani Jones. Nani, portrayed brilliantly by actress Alya-Joy Kanehailua, was the 11th and second-to-youngest child of George W.C. Jones, who owned Kahuku Ranch from 1871-87.

The performance is at 7 p.m. on Aug. 29 in the Kīlauea Visitor Center auditorium, at 1 Crater Rim Drive inside Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, and is part of the park’s ongoing After Dark in the Park series, which is co-sponsored by the Friends of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. The event is free, but park entrance fees apply.

No. 19 — The Stephen Inglis Project at the Palace (Hilo, Aug. 26)

Image from Palace Theater website

Channeling the magic of the Grateful Deadʻs performance on Aug. 25, 1972, at the Berkeley Community Theatre in Berkeley, Calif., lead guitarist and vocalist Stephen Inglis and his band, comprised of Eric Petersen on bass and vocals, Steven Howells on drums and Danny Eisenberg on keyboards, will rock the Palace stage, located at at 38 Haili St. in Downtown Hilo, during this live concert event starting at 7:30 p.m.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and tickets, starting at $35, can be purchased now online. All tickets are $5 more on the day of the show at the Palace box office.

No. 20 — $3 “You Pick” Harvest (ʻĀinaloa, Aug. 24)

Image from Facebook

Visit Hydroponic Hut, located at 16-2154 Rainbow Drive in ʻĀinaloa, from 5 to 7 p.m. to harvest your own produce for only $3 each during this “You Pick” event for Big Island residents.

Head up ʻĀinaloa Boulevard and make a left onto Rainbow Drive. The Hut is toward the end of Rainbow Drive on the right. Check out Hydroponic Hut on Facebook.

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