Top 20 things to do on Big Island for Sept. 21-27: Peace Day activities, Keauhou Community Day, The Gospel Experience and much more

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Are you looking to catch a classic flick on the historic Palace Theater stage in Hilo? Want to help observe International Peace Day? Have you joined the crowd cheering on contestants in the inaugural Hilo Idol competition yet? Want to test drive an electric vehicle? How would you feel having your soul stirred during a gospel extravaganza?

Whether you’re looking to catch some live music, entertainment, or a workshop to learn new skills, give your input on the future use of the Great Crack and Ala Waiʻi areas at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, gather with community, rock out during an electronic music showcase or just get out of the house for a while, there’s once again plenty to do on the Big Island during the next week.

Here are our top 20 things to do on the Big Island for Sept. 21-27.

No. 1 — Ring Your Bell for Peace Day (Kea‘au, Sept. 21)

Image from Facebook

Let your bell ring at Puna Hongwanji, located at 16-492 Old Volcano Road, along with hundreds of others from schools, temples, homes and favorite places around the world on Peace Day. Temple doors open at 8 a.m. All are welcome, and those in attendance will be able to ring the temple bell.

After ringing the bell, the temple will play the movie “Gate: The Atomic Flame.”

The Peace Walk will also honor the courage and determination of three Buddhist monks, who nine years ago made a 1,600-mile pilgrimage to Trinity, N.M., returning the atomic flame, which has burned continuously at a memorial site between Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


The day will also feature a guest appearance by Jake Shimabukuro, the 2023 Ambassador for Peace Day. Register in advance online.

No. 2 — Peace Out Saturday (Honoka’a, Sept. 23)

Taiko drummers are pictured in this photo from 2017 Peace Day festivities in Honoka‘a. (File photo)

Head to Māmane Street from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. dressed in your best tie-dye and love beads to enjoy food trucks, pop-up vendors, music and groovy things to do for the keiki such as origami and giant bubbles.

The Peace Festival begins at 12:30 p.m. on the lawn at the Salvation Army, located at 45-511 Rickard Place, with the Honoka‘a Jazz Band, taiko, bon dancing and other activities.

For more information, click here.

No. 3 — Hilo Idol Quarterfinals Round 5 (Hilo, Sept. 27)

A full house cheers on competitors during Round 3 of the Hilo Idol quarterfinals. (Photo courtesy of Levi Strauss)

The Big Island’s ultimate singing competition continues Sept. 27 in the showroom at Hilo Town Market, located at 69 Waiānuenue Ave. Each quarterfinal features up to 10 contestants seeking three top spots to move on to the semifinals, which begin Oct. 18.


Doors open at 7 p.m., followed by open karaoke at 7:30 p.m., and the show starts at 8:30 p.m. There is a $10 cover charge and it is bring your own goodies and drinks. If you can’t make it in person, you can also watch the show streamed live at You can also visit the website to watch past installments.

Quarterfinals Round 3 winners, who competed Sept. 13 and moved on to the semifinals, were: first place, Tatiana “Tati” Pattioay; second place, Loretta “Green Eyes” Lopes; and third place, Miguel Meza.

Auditions for the quarterfinal competitions continue through Sept. 26. For more information, check out the Levitation Entertainment Instagram page.

No. 4 — Latin Thursdays: Yumbel Marassi and Fuego Latin Orchestra Hawai’i (Kailua-Kona, Sept. 21)

Courtesy photo

Experience the Latin sounds of Fuego Latin Orchestra Hawai‘i at Honu’s on the Beach in King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel, located at 75-5660 Palani Road, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. through September. The band, led by Yumbel Marassi, will also light up Honu’s on Sept. 28.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for food and beverage service. There is a two-drink minimum; full parking validation with purchase.


Tickets are $20 at the door (cash, Venmo or Square). You can also email [email protected] or click here for more information or to purchase tickets in advance. Do not contact the hotel for tickets or information.

No. 5 — Keauhou Community Day (Kailua-Kona, Sept. 23)

Miss Kona Coffee 2023 Shyla Victor during a Lei Day celebration in West Hawai‘i. (File photo by Megan Moseley/Big Island Now)

Keauhou Community Day, a partnership between Miss Kona Coffee 2023 Shyla Victor and Keauhou Shopping Center, will focus on cleaning up and collecting ‘opala (rubbish) along Ali‘i Highway-Māmalahoa Bypass Road. . Everyone is encouraged to join in with caring for the ‘āina (land) and celebrating the rich history of Kona coffee.

This family-friendly event will also include a complimentary lunch for volunteers provided by KTA Keauhou and Tropics Tap House at Keauhou Shopping Center’s courtyard. Participants also will enjoy live music performances, a jumping castle and keiki crafts offered by KidXClub, sponsored by Big Island Collison Center.

Check-in begins at 7:30 a.m. at Tropics Tap House, located at the shopping center at 78-6831 Ali‘i Drive. For more information or to register as a volunteer, click here.

No. 6 — Recovery4Recovery Car Wash 4 Maui (Hilo, Sept. 23)

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Staff and clients of the Big Island Substance Abuse Council are partnering up for a fundraiser car wash from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at AutoZone in Hilo, located at 25 E. Puainako St., to raise money for Maui wildfire relief efforts by Aloha House Inc. for those directly impacted by the disaster.

Advance tickets are $10. For more information, call Lane at 808-319-8814.

No. 7 — Talk story about the future use of the Great Crack and Ala Waiʻi (Pāhala, Sept. 23)

The Great Crack. (Image courtesy of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park)

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park seeks community input about the potential future use and stewardship of the remote Great Crack and Ala Waiʻi areas and will host a community “talk story” meeting at the Pāhala Community Center on Saturday, September 23 from noon to 2 p.m.

The park accepted stewardship of the 1,951-acre Great Crack in 2018 and the adjacent 2,750-acre Ala Waiʻi area in 2022 because of their unique geologic, biological and cultural resources and public concerns for the areas to be protected from future development. The park is working to create a long-term plan for managing the two areas.

For more information, click here.

No. 8 — An Introduction to Chinese Medicine with Adam Moes (Nāʻālehu, Sept. 22)

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Take a deep dive into the fundamentals of Chinese medicine, putting it into everyday language, so you can understand and apply these methods in maintaining your health and that of loved ones. Moes has a master’s degree in traditional Chinese medicine and is a licensed acupuncturist.

The workshop is from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Nāʻālehu Public Library, located at 95-5669 Māmalahoa Highway. For more information, click here.

No. 9 — CHOCOLATE: Savory + Sweet cooking class (Honokaʻa, Sept. 22)

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This hands-on and demonstration cooking class hosted from 5 to 8 p.m. by Puʻuwai Gardens and HeartBeet Catering, located at 48-5370 Honokaʻa-Waipiʻo Road, includes a full gluten-free meal and features Big Island produced chocolate and cocoa in savory and sweet recipes.

The chef is happy to accommodate dietary requests as they can fit to our menu. Please add your requests to your reservation email. For more information, including cost and to register, click here.

No. 10 — Second annual He Ala Pono EV and Sustainability Fair (Hilo, Sept. 23)

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Electric vehicle owners, advocates and stakeholders invite the public to get electrified and energized during this event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Prince Kūhiō Plaza, located at 111 Puainako St., in observance of National Drive Electric Week.

The free fair offers attendees the opportunity to test drive electric vehicle models from various dealers, learn the benefits of electric vehicle ownership, ask experts about the latest technologies and more.

For more information, click here.

No. 11 — Silent Movie Night: “City Lights” (Hilo, Sept. 22)

Image from Facebook

Enjoy this timeless Charlie Chaplin 1931 masterpiece accompanied by a live score performed on the Palace Theater pipe organ. The movie tells the story of a hapless but resilient tramp who falls in love with a blind flower girl on the tough city streets.

Silent Movie Night at the Palace, located at 38 Haili St., is a joint fundraiser between the historic theater and the Hilo Theatre Organ Society to benefit the continued maintenance and restoration of the Palace pipe organ.

Doors, box office and concessions open at 6:30 p.m. and the movie starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

No. 12 — Lightning Larry Dupio live (Kawaihae, Sept. 22)

Image from Facebook

Lightning Larry Dupio is a two-time Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award winner and an award-winning Blues guitarist. He will be performing at 6:30 p.m. at the Blue Dragon Tavern, located at 61-3616 Kawaihae Road.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $13 at the door; children 12 and younger are free. For more information or to buy tickets, click here or visit the Blue Dragon Tavern website.

No. 13 — The Gospel Experience (Hilo, Sept. 24)

Image from Facebook

Get ready to experience a soul-stirring, foot-stomping gospel extravaganza that will have you singing and praising all afternoon. Let the harmonious voices and heartfelt lyrics transport you to a place of peace and serenity.

The event, featuring the Hawai‘i Island Community Gospel Choir, is planned for 2 to 4 p.m. at the Island of Hawai’i YMCA, located at 300 W. Lanikaula St., with special guest Shallon Tore.

Tickets are $25 and are available at the YMCA office or online.

No. 14 — Hilo Milonga (Hilo, Sept. 23)

Image from Facebook

Let’s tango, Big Island! Saturday, September 23, 7:30 to 10:30. Enjoy a variety of tango music and more with DJ Rosamund from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Paradise Warehouse Music and Dance, located at 34 Wiwo‘ole St.

Bring dance shoes or soft-soled shoes. All ages are welcome. Cost is $10, which includes water, wine and snacks. Hosted by Big Island Tango.

No. 15 — Throwback Thursday: “Poltergeist” (Hilo, Sept. 21)

Image from Facebook

Throwback Thursdays feature your favorite classic films on the big screen at the Palace Theater, located at 38 Hail St. This week’s pick is the 1982 classic ghost story starring JoBeth Williams, Heather O’Rourke and Craig T. Nelson.

When the spirits turn menacing and youngest child Carol Ann goes missing, her family turns to a parapsychologist and eventually an exorcist for help.

Doors, box office and concessions open at 6:30 p.m. and the movie starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $9 for seniors, students and veterans. For more information or to buy tickets, click here.

No. 16 — Adult Improv Jam Class (Hilo, Sept. 21)

Image from Facebook

Join Big Island Comedy Theater for a night of improv comedy games similar to “Who’s Line is it Anyway” hosted by Keli Semelsberger at 5:30 p.m. in the Connections Public Charter School theater, located at 174 Kamehameha Ave. in Hilo. It’s a night for grown-ups to recapture their sense of play.

No experience necessary. Cost to attend is $20. To reserve your seat, click here.

No. 17 — Paint Party: Lava heart with rainbow (Kailua-Kona, Sept. 23)

Image from Facebook

Bring your friends from 2 to 5 p.m. on the Denny’s lanai, located at 75-1027 Henry St., to enjoy food, drinks, music and painting in celebration of Pride. Create a dynamic view of a rainbow through a lava heart using a stencil for shape and learning how to stipple a lava texture.

Hosted by Tia Starr Studios. All experience levels welcome and supplies are included. Cost to attend is $55. Register with your name, phone number and email via Venmo or PayPal to tiastarrstudios.

More information is available on Facebook.

No. 18 — Free Community Movie Night: “Shrek” (Kailua-Kona, Sept. 22)

Image from Facebook

Join Unity of Kona, located at 74-5599 Luhia St. #F3, for a free fun night of gathering and laughter. All are welcome. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the move starts at 6:45 p.m. Parental discretion is advised.

Popcorn, water, and gummy snacks will be available for purchase. All funds go to support Unity of Kona and more events like this. No outside food please.

For more information, click here.

No. 19 — HEART Singers performance (Kailua-Kona, Sept. 23)

Image from Facebook

As part of the Changing Oceans Changing Minds Celebration of Water, the Hawai’i Keiki Museum, located in Building D at 74-5533 Luhia St., is proud to present Hilo’s own HEART (Hilo Education Arts Repository Theatre) Singers for this free show at 11 a.m. Arts lovers of all ages will enjoy a medley of Disney songs and family favorites.

There will be some goodies and concessions available from local vendors between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Regular museum admission applies.

For more information, click here.

No. 20 — Synthesis: Audio/Visual Showcase (Kalani, Sept. 22 and 23)

Image from Facebook

The Synthesis: Audio/Visual Showcase is the culminating event of the Synthesis Retreat. Music producers from around the world who attended the retreat at Kalani Oceanside Retreat Center, located at 12-6860 Kalapana-Kapoho Road in Puna, are putting together a two-day electronic music extravaganza featuring some of the top producers, DJs and VJs the underground has to offer.

This is an unprecedented experience you don’t want to miss. The two-day showcase will feature multiple stages, visuals, fire and dance performances, live are, a bar, food, vendors and a pool party.

The showcase kicks off from 6 p.m. to midnight Friday and continues from noon to midnight Saturday. For more information, including ticket prices, click here.

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