Top 20 things to do on Big Island for Sept. 28-Oct. 4: Marching to fight fentanyl, punk rock, ‘Hometown Legends,’ Aloha Shirt Festival and much more

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Are you looking for something to do on the Big Island? We’ve got you covered.

Get involved in the fight against fentanyl on the Big Island, or see a film focused on “Hometown Legends.” The final quarterfinal round of Hilo Idol, the island’s ultimate singing competition, is also coming up or check out the second annual Aloha Shirt Festival in Kona.

There are plenty of events, activities and entertainment to keep residents and visitors alike busy during the next week.

Here are our top 20 things to do on the Big Island from Sept. 28 through Oct. 4.

No. 1 — Walk to Prevent Addiction and Overdose (Hilo, Sept. 30)

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This inaugural event by the Hawaiʻi Island Fentanyl Task Force raises awareness to help address the addiction, overdose and fentanyl poisoning crisis on the Big Island. By participating, you become a vital part of a community doing everything in its power to save lives and keep the island healthy.

The free event begins with registration at 8 a.m. near Hilo Bay Café and the intersection of Lihiwai Street and Banyan Drive. There also will be live music, prevention resources and more. All ages are welcome to attend.


For more information, call Pua Carriaga with the fentanyl task force at 808-965-3083.

No. 2 — ALLIN4LIFE Recovery Event (Hilo, Sept. 30)

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Hosted by the Big Island Substance Abuse Council, this event from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Lili‘uokalani Gardens immediately follows the Walk to Prevent Addiction and Overdose.

The event is a celebration of everyone fighting the good fight and recovering. There will be food, activities, giveaways and more. Everyone in recovery is encouraged to come and connect with others on the same path.

No. 3 — Voices for Belonging and Community Conversations film series (Waimea, Sept. 28)

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The second film in the series, “Hometown Legends,” will be presented at 6 p.m. at Gates Performing Arts Center, located at 65-1692 Kohala Mountain Road. This special documentary is a film by Waimea resident and parent Kolby Moser, highlighting several respected kūpuna from the Big Island revered as masters of their respective Hawaiian crafts.

The film series is a partnership between Hawaiʻi Preparatory Academy and its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with the filmmaker.


Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Waimea school at 808-885-7321.

Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park in Hōnaunau also will host a special free premier of the film from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Sep. 30.

No. 4 — Second annual Aloha Shirt Festival and Fashion Week Hawai‘i (Kailua-Kona, Sept. 28-30)

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From the inspiration of fashionistas Uncle George Na‘ope and Cyril Lani Pahinui, this is one of the biggest spectacles of the year celebrating island heritage, focusing on Hawai’i’s wearable arts and the local garment industry.

The event hosted at Outrigger Kona Resort & Spa, located at 78-128 Ehukai St., features some of Hawai‘i’s top musicians and designers in runway showcases of vintage aloha wear exhibits, sales and appraisals; music and entertainment; fashion runway shows showing off vintage and repurposed clothing and contemporary designers, fashion collections and wearable art designs. There also will be workshops, a pop-up marketplace, speakers and presentations, hair and make-up shows, food and beverages and more.

For more information, click here.

No. 5 — Walk With a Doc (Hilo, Oct. 1)

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Fitness shouldn’t stop when it rains, especially in Hilo. These weekly walks are free and promote healthy habits. Participants meet at 8 a.m. each Sunday near Hilo Bay Café, near the intersection of Lihiwai Street and Banyan Drive, and walk around Lili‘uokalani Gardens.

This week, the first 100 people who show up will get a yellow AARP Hawai‘i/Walk With a Doc umbrella.

For more information about Walk With a Doc and AARP programs, click here ( or find AARP Hawai‘i on Facebook.

No. 6 — Empowering Caregiver Resource Fair (Kealakekua, Sept. 30)

Image from Kona Community Hospital website

The Kona Community Hospital Project Care Committee’s inaugural fair is planned for 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Kona Hongwanji Social Hall, located at 81-6630 Hawai‘i Belt Road, will address a growing trend: caregivers of the kūpuna, ill or injured lacking the knowledge and resources to provide care for their loved ones at home.

This free educational conference and outreach event will include information from community organizations and feature speakers covering several topics. The event is free but registration is required. To register, call 808-322-4559 or click here.

No. 7 — Hilo Idol Quarterfinals Round 6 (Hilo, Oct. 4)

Hilo Idol quarterfinals week 4 winners, from left: Teena-Marie Viavia, second place; Nia Faulkner, first place; and Nathan Good, third place. (Photo courtesy of Levi Strauss)

The Big Island’s ultimate singing competition continues Oct. 4 with the final quarterfinal round 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. 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

Quarterfinals Round 4 winners, who competed Sept. 20, were: first place, Nia Faulkner (middle); second place, Teena-Marie Viavia (left); and third place, Nathan Good (right)

For more information, check out the Levitation Entertainment Instagram page.

No. 8 — Smoke ‘N Fire 5K Race/2-Mile Family Fun Run/Keiki Fun Run and Fire Safety and Health Fair (Hilo, Oct. 1)

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Presented by Big Island first responder agencies, including the police and fire departments, on the campus of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, the 5K race begins at 8:20 a.m., with the family/keiki run starting at 9:30 a.m. To register for the runs, click here. For run T-shirts, click here.

The Fire Safety and Health Fair, also on the UH-Hilo campus located at 200 W. Kawili St., will include vehicle displays, vendor booths and keiki activities such as face painting, Keiki ID and more.

Proceeds will be donated to support the Kapiolani Women’s and Children’s Hospital and the UH-Hilo Athletics Department. For more information, call 808-339-5034.

No. 9 — Latin Thursdays: Yumbel Marassi and Fuego Latin Orchestra Hawai‘i (Kailua-Kona, Sept. 28)

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Experience the Latin sounds of Fuego Latin Orchestra Hawai‘i, led by Yumbel Marassi, 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.

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] for more information. Do not contact the hotel.

No. 10 — 23rd Hilo Bay Oktoberfest (Hilo, Sept. 30)

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The Rotary Club of Hilo Bay once again is celebrating everything German during this annual club fundraiser that includes fun for the entire family from authentic German food, beer and refreshments to live entertainment, a silent auction and a costume contest.

The event is from 6 to 9 p.m. at Sangha Hall, located at 398 Kilauea Ave. Tickets start at $75. A portion of this year’s proceeds will go toward various Maui wildfire relief efforts. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

No. 11 — Sunday Rolz: Where the Joy of Rolling Meets the Spirit of Adventure and Community (Hilo, Oct. 1)

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Join a vibrant community that celebrates the thrill of non-motorized wheels and the freedom of open paths. This go-to group for everything on wheels, from bikes and skateboards to inlines and electric bikes, rolls out from 7 to 9:30 a.m. weekly on Sundays.

Whether you’re a seasoned rider or just discovering the excitement of human-powered transport, you’ve found your home with this group, hosted by Soil to Soul at 301 Keawe St. Cost to participate is $10.

For more information, click here.

No. 12 — Bonita Latin Night (Pāhoa, Sept. 30)

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This month’s drag show hosted by Lava Phish at the Lava Shack, located at 15-2929 Pāhoa Village Road, features performances by Sahn’Tayizha Ramirez, Sarina Starlight, Karmen Slayz Ramirez, Ny’Kohl Sena Sol Ramirez, Jewl, Dlylah Synn Ramirez and Karizma Mirage, with dancing to follow. Music by DJ Lance.

Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Bring dollars to tip your favorite performer and stay after to dance the rest of the night away. Cover charge is $5.

No. 13 — Wuki at My Bar Kona as part of the Sunshine Tour (Kailua-Kona, Sept. 30)

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Hailing from New Jersey, Grammy-nominated producer and DJ Wuki, also known as Kris Barman, has quickly cemented a global fan base with his ability to blend multiple genres and seamlessly mix booty, breaks, electro and house into hard-hitting club-shakers.

The show is from 8 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Tickets start at $25. My Bar Kona is located at 74-5606 Luhia St. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

No. 14 — Performance by ceramicist Stephen Freedman and artist Round Table (Hōlualoa, Sept. 30)

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Experience the energy of art coming to life and join the Donkey Mill Art Center, located at 78-6670 Māmalahoa Highway, for this highly anticipated event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The following round table will feature a conversation with many of the esteemed artists whose works are part of the Phase Change exhibit.

Freedman will share a brief overview of porcelain through the ages along with personal stories about his enduring and evolving relationship with porcelain. The performance will feature a not-to-be-missed live demonstration on the wheel, which will be followed by a potluck lunch and time to connect with exhibit artists before the round table discussion.

Please bring your favorite beverage and dish to share. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is encouraged. For more information and to register, click here.

No. 15 — Kasey Yale live (Ocean View, Sept. 30)

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Musician Kasey Yale will perform original music, covers and some improvisation during this free show from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Ocean View Community Center, located at 92-8924 Leilani Circle. Tips will be accepted and Yale will donate 80% of any tips he receives.

Check out Yale’s music online. To learn more about Yale, click here.

No. 16 — Beyond the Beaches island science lecture series (Kailua-Kona, Sept. 28)

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This month’s installment will be presented by Mary Beth Laycheck, director of communications and community engagement at the Canada-France-Hawai‘i Telescope. Learn about the telescope’s work, how data is gathered and about a day in the life of an astronomer.

The event from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Hawai‘i Keiki Museum, located at 74-5533 Luhia St., is free; however, donations are welcome and registration is appreciated. Light pupus, beer, wine and soda will also be available. Must be 21 or older to attend.

Click here for more information or to register.

No. 17 — Exploring the Philosophy and Practice of Buddhism (Nāʻālehu, Sept. 29)

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Explore Buddha’s ideas and practice to have a life of meaning and genuine inner peace. Whether you’re a curious beginner or seeking to deepen your spiritual insights, this free class from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Nāʻālehu Public Library, located at 95-5669 Māmalahoa Highway, offers a transformative journey into timeless wisdom and compassion.

All are welcome. For more information, click here.

No. 18 — Friends of the Pana‘ewa Zoo Autumn Plant Sale (Hilo, Sept. 30)

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More than 20 vendors will have plants from bamboo, assorted palms and fruit trees to orchids, water plants, bromeliads and more for sale from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. to support the Big Island zoo. Friends of the Pana‘ewa Zoo also will have a table where those who attend can sign up for membership and receive the group’s quarterly newsletter.

Funds raised during the plant sale at the entrance to the equestrian center at the zoo, located at 800 Stainback Highway, are used to educate visitors, provide for special animal needs and enhance the lives of the resident animals.

For more information, click here.

No. 19 — Punk Night with Houston and the Dirty Rats (Hilo, Sept. 30)

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Hilo will get a taste of mainland punk rock from 7 to 11 p.m. when Phillipsburg, N.J., band Houston and the Dirty Rats makes a tour stop on the indoor stage at Hilo Town Market, located at 69 Waiānuenue Ave. The band has performed throughout the United States since 2018, except Hawai‘i. Its influences are based firmly in the 1990s punk rock canon of NOFX, Screeching Weasel and Green Day.

Also performing that night will be Puna thrash metal/punk band Badass Noise, Waikōloa-based punk band El Sancho and Nancy Boy from Hilo. Selector Kaihewalu will spin punk and Oi vinyl records between sets.

Doors open at 7 p.m. Cost is $10. For more information, click here.

No. 20 — Big Island Art Fair (Waimea, Sept. 28-30)

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This showcase of art for sale by about 20 Big Island artists each day will feature styles including acrylic and oil painting, mosaics, ceramics, jewelry, digital art, photography and more. Demonstrations, food and more will be part of the fun.

An art contest with the theme “Change,” fair-goers also will be able to view and vote for their favorite artwork as part of an art contest with the theme “Change.” Cash prizes will be awarded Saturday afternoon to the winning artists.

All ages are welcome at the fair, hosted at Kahilu Town Hall, located at 67-1182 Lindsey Road. For more information, click here, find the fair on Facebook or email to [email protected].

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