Top 20 things to do on Big Island for Oct. 19-25: Food festivals, Pink Out Color Run, Halloween-related events and much more

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The Big Island will be pretty festive during the next week, with a festival dedicated to indigenous cuisines from around the world, another all about the food of the Philippines, one focused on the birds of Hawai‘i and a fall fest full of family fun.

That’s not all that’s on tap around the island.

There also will be the Pink Out Color Run in Hilo in honor of breast cancer survivors and thrivers and in remembrance of those who lost their fight; several Halloween-related events, including one your furry friends are sure to enjoy, and “The Rocky Horror Show”; the second round of Hilo Idol semifinals; and much more.

Here are our top 20 things to do on the Big Island for the week of Oct. 19-25.

No. 1 — 13th annual Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival (Kohala, Oct. 20-21)

Screenshot of image from Hawai’i Food & Wine Festival Instagram page

Don’t miss this two-day epicurean adventure at the iconic Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, located at 62-100 Mauna Kea Beach Drive, celebrating indigenous cuisines from around the world.


The festivities kick off with the Indigenous World Cuisines event, which includes a walk-around grand tasting for guests to embark on a culinary journey and explore the diverse flavors, rich history and cultural traditions of indigenous communities from around the world.

Guests are invited the next day to an Indigenous Food Culture Panel, where esteemed industry experts will engage in thought-provoking discussions about the significance of indigenous food culture and its impact on communities.

For more information, including ticket prices for each day, click here and follow the festival on Instagram.

No. 2 — Sixth annual Pink Out Color Run (Hilo, Oct. 21)

Renette “Uilani” Haili-Soares, left, and Shannon Burke, second from left, have a little fun prior to Burke hitting the stage as part of the Beautiful Bra Contest during last year’s Pink Out Color Run in Hilo. (File photo by Nathan Christophel/Big Island Now)

This 5K fun run/walk presented by the American Cancer Society and KBIG FM at the Mo’oheau Bandstand and Bayfront Trails in downtown Hilo honors breast cancer survivors and thrivers and remembers those lost to the disease.


In-person registration begins at 7 a.m., the program is at 8 a.m., with the run/walk starting at 8:30 a.m. All proceeds benefit breast cancer research, education and awareness and patient support. The event also showcases the popular “Beautiful Bra” contest, information from health resource providers, prize giveaways, Zumba fun and a photo booth. Food booths will also be available.

Online registration is $35 for adults, $25 for students ages 13 and older and $15 for keiki 5 to 12 years old. For more information, click here or contact Sarah Luchenbill at 808-452-1511 or via email at [email protected].

No. 3 — Humanity Hale Fall Fest Fundraiser (Hōlualoa, Oct. 21)

Serving underserved and foster youth, Humanity Hale gets a lending hand from Teighya Frias, Penelope Rose Harvey and Samantha Fryer during last year’s Fall Fest. (Photo courtesy of Humanity Hale)

Family fun is on tap from 5 to 9 p.m. at scenic Bolton Farms, located at 77-6127 Māmalahoa Highway.

Festivities will include chef-inspired cuisine, beverages, live music and art, DJ with dancing, vendors, face painting, games and a photo booth for keiki against a backdrop of Hualālai and panoramic views of the Kailua-Kona skyline.


General admission is $75 for adults or $125 for VIPs. More information and ticket details are available online. Last year’s event sold out, so don’t wait to buy your tickets.

No. 4 — Coffee, Tea, Water: Essential Elements EXPO (Nāʻālehu, Oct. 21)

Screenshot from image on Stargazer Industries website

This free event at Nāʻālehu Sports Park, hosted by Stargazer Industries of Nāʻālehu, celebrates the elements everyone cherishes: coffee, tea and water. There will be live music and plenty of food and retail vendors from around the Big Island.

Seventy-five percent of the proceeds will go to public schools and educators in Nāʻālehu and Pāhala, with the other 25% going directly into the hands of teachers in Lāhainā.

For more information, click here.

No. 5 — Taste of the Philippines (Kailua-Kona, Oct. 21)

Screenshot of image from Better Unite festival website

This inaugural benefit event for the Kona Visayan Club is an evening soirée beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the King Kamehameha Kona Beach Resort, located at 75-5660 Palani Road, that will showcase the exciting culture, fashion and food of the Philippines.

Guests will have an opportunity to indulge in Filipino-inspired dishes whipped up by eight of the Big Island’s top chefs. There will also be a runway show featuring custom couture inspired by modern and traditional Filipino attire from famed designer Iris Viacrusis.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Maui Filipino Chamber of Commerce to help families affected by recent wildfires.

Tickets are $75 and available online. Registration closes Oct. 20, or when space is no longer available. For more information, click here.

No. 6 — Coffee Talk: The Restoration of Ka Hoʻomana Kahiko (Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Oct. 21)

Courtesy of the National Park Service

Join Kahakaʻio Ravenscraft from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at the Kahuku Visitor Contact Station in the park’s Kahuku Unit, located near mile marker 70.5 on Highway 11 in Ocean View, for this free event to learn about the revitalization of hoʻomana kahiko, traditional Hawaiian spiritual practices, including the observation of kaulana mahina, the celestial calendar.

Ravenscraft dedicates his work to perpetuating the traditions of his ancestors through the practice of kalai kiʻi (sculpture), moʻo kūauhau (genealogy), moʻolelo (storytelling) and mālama iwi kūpuna (the care of traditional burial practices).

No. 7 — Howl-O-Ween Hustle (Hilo, Oct. 21)

Image from Action 4 Animals website

This event promises to be fun for the family and your furry friends. Hosted by Action 4 Animals Hawai‘i from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Lili’oukalani Gardens on Banyan Drive in Hilo, it will include a dog walk, costume contest, dog trick contest and microchip clinic.

Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. The dog walk kicks off at 11 a.m. with the other festivities starting at noon.

For more information, to get your registration form in advance or ask about animals up for adoption and volunteer opportunities, email [email protected]. You can also check out the Action 4 Animals website and follow the group on Facebook.

No. 8 — Hawai‘i Island Festival of Birds (Hilo, Oct. 21)

Image from Hawai’i Island Festival of Birds website

The festival returns in-person this year from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Grand Naniloa Hotel, located at 93 Banyan Drive, with a fun, educational bird fair and an art-meets-science Hula Manu Hō‘ike celebrating the diverse bird species of the Hawaiian Islands.

Organized by the nonprofit Hawai‘i Wildlife Center, the festival features artists, scholars and other experts sharing their avian knowledge. The festival’s hōʻike (exhibition) will include performances from local hālau hula and oli (chant) sharing stories and knowledge about Hawai‘i’s native manu (birds).

For more information, click here.

No. 9 — “The Rocky Horror Show” (Hilo, beginning Oct. 20)

Courtesy image

Let’s all do the Time Warp again! The Hilo Community Players present this ultimate Halloween cult classic musical comedy live each night at 8 p.m. from Oct. 20-22 and 27-29 at the Hawai‘i Science and Technology Museum, located at 64 Keawe St.

There will also be a special Halloween night performance at 10 p.m. Oct. 31, which will include a costume contest. Audience members are encouraged to dress up and participate in the raucous, raunchy, rockin’ extravaganza.

Tickets and participation kits are available online. Make your reservations now — tickets are going fast!

No. 10 — Māmaki Tea, a Hawaiian Tradition (Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Oct. 24)

Courtesy of the National Park Service

This event, part of the national park’s After Dark in the Park series, starts at 7 p.m. in the Kīlauea Visitor Center auditorium and will take audience members on a virtual tour of the Wood Valley ranch of farmers Matt and Andrea Drayer and help them connect with the ancient Hawaiian tradition of māmaki tea.

The māmaki plant is found nowhere else on Earth. For centuries, Native Hawaiians have enjoyed the health benefits of drinking tea brewed from its leaves. Today, the Drayers of Ancient Valley Growers cultivate this nettleless nettle for a new generation using regenerative agriculture techniques for a more sustainable Hawai‘i.

The event is free, but park entrance fees apply.

No. 11 — Reflections of Java (Hilo, Oct. 25)

Image from Facebook

Gamelan Sekar Dahana (Gamelan of the Molten Blossom) presents an evening of classical dance from the heart of Indonesia featuring dancer Garrett Kam beginning at 5 p.m. in the Bob Brown Gamelan Studio at East Hawai‘i Cultural Center, located at 141 Kalākaua St.

This is a rare opportunity to see and learn about Javanese dance, a highly refined and subtle art form. Kam will demonstrate various types, including court dances, topeng (masked dancing), fight styles and monkey dancing from the Hindu epic Ramayana. He also will give an introduction to the cultural context of Javanese dance and be available for questions and photos at the conclusion of the performance.

The event is free but advance reservations are recommended. Click here for more information and to register.

No. 12 — Family Night at the Museum (Hilo, Oct. 25 and 26)

Image from Facebook

Join the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, located at 600 ‘Imiloa Place, from 3 to 8 p.m. each day for an exciting, fun and festive Halloween event to learn about skeletons and exoskeletons.

There will be activities for the whole family, including crafts, balloon pets, a planetarium program, a walk-through “glow” forest and Toddler Town, with special activities dedicated to the littlest guests. Come in costume!

Also, don’t forget to enter the pumpkin carving contest. Prizes will be awarded for first place in the age categories of 5 and younger (decorated pumpkins), 6 to 10 years old, 11 to 15 years old and 16 and older. Completed pumpkins will be accepted between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Oct. 25 at ‘Imiloa. Voting will take place at Family Night At The Museum.

Admission is $8 for adults and $6 for keiki for ‘Imiloa members or $16 for adults and $12 for children for the general public. To purchase tickets ahead of time, call 808-932-8901 or visit ‘Imiloa’s front desk.

No. 13 — Augie T: Not Done Yet Tour! (Honoka‘a, Oct. 20)

Image from Facebook

Come laugh and enjoy an evening of live stand-up comedy with Augie T beginning at 7 p.m. at Honoka‘a People’s Theatre, located at 45-3574 Māmane St.

Augie Tulba is one of Hawai‘i’s top comedians, starting his career in the 1990s mentoring and performing with Andy Bumatai and the crew of Booga Booga and going on to become a hit radio personality on Shaka 96.7, a Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award winner and the only Hawai‘i comedian to sell out the Blaisdell Arena.

Tickets are just $20 and can be purchased at the theater box office. For more information, click here.

No. 14 — Cardio Queens: A Drag Show (Hilo, Oct. 21)

Image from Eventbrite website

Get ready to witness the fiercest, most fabulous queens in town as they strut their stuff and serve up some heart-pumping entertainment beginning at 8 p.m. at the Island of Hawai‘i YMCA, located at 300 W Lanikaula St.

Join Palehua, Karizma Mirage, Karmen Ramirez and Gilly Tina for a night of fun and excitement as they slay the stage. There also will be a costume contest, so come dressed up. Palehua’s favorite will win an extra special prize.

Doors open at 7 p.m. Must be 21 or older to attend. BYOB and snacks. Tickets start at $20 and are on sale now at the YMCA office or on Eventbrite.

No. 15 — Stand-Up Comedy Showcase (Kealakekua, Oct. 25)

Image from Facebook

Enjoy the voices of new and returning students of Aloha Theatre’s stand-up comedy program beginning at 7 p.m. at the theater, located at 79-7384 Hawai‘i Belt Road, as they deliver a solid set of laughs.

It features Kerry Matsumoto, Lindsay Roth, T.C. Faith, Heather Reynolds, Wendy Buzby and Sara Athans. The show will be hosted by Dirty Girl Comedy’s Justine Smith.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Pay what you can, even if it’s just attention. The show is recommended for people 18 and older, as some of the material might contain adult themes. Proceeds benefit the Aloha Theatre education program.

No. 16 — Hilo Idol Semifinals Round 2 (Hilo, Oct. 25)

File image

The Big Island’s ultimate singing competition has been narrowed down and winners from each of the six quarterfinal rounds will continue to go head to head in the showroom at Hilo Town Market, located at 69 Waiānuenue Ave., in their quest to make it to the finale Nov. 3 and claim the title as the first Hilo Idol.

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

No. 17 — Live Music in the Dry Forest (Waikōloa, Oct. 21)

Image from Facebook

The Big Island community is invited back to the Waikoloa Dry Forest Preserve off Quarry Road from 5 to 7 p.m. for the first of a series of concerts at Hale Hana Hou. This month’s event will feature The Young Brothers with Kalei Yamanoha.

The Young Brothers make music that employs a diversity of rhythms and melodies from traditional Hawaiian and Polynesian music to reggae, hip-hop, pop, rock, blues and soul.

Gates open at 4 p.m. Tickets are $25. There will be food and drinks available for purchase. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

No. 18 — Sock Hop! Shake, Rattle and Roll! (Hilo, Oct. 21)

Image from Facebook

Put on your dancing duds, whether they’re from the 1950s, ’60s or whateva, and come out to the sock hop from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Hilo Women’s Club clubhouse, located at 7 Lele St., to enjoy live music by Atypical Band featuring Jacki Gomes.

A light 1950s-style dinner will also be served. Bring your own beverage of your choice.

Tickets are $25. All proceeds will support the club’s scholarship program and community donation projects. For more information, call 808-935-9838.

No. 19 — Second annual International Night Market (Hilo, Oct. 20)

Image from Facebook

Come down from 5 to 9 p.m. to the parking lot at Waiākea Warrior Gym, located at 1200 Ainaola Drive, and enjoy live entertainment throughout the night from various school and community groups along with more than 50 craft and food vendors during the Waiākea High School Parent Teacher Student Association’s second annual International Night Market.

It’s definitely an event you won’t want to miss!

To check out more about the vendors and performers, visit the Waiakea High School Facebook page.

No. 20 — A Spook-Tacular Eve-Ning (Hilo, Oct. 20)

Image from Facebook

It’s that spooky time of year again and Eve N Eve is celebrating with a spirited evening of Halloween-themed performances beginning at 7:29 p.m. at the AJA Hall, located at 361 Haihai St.

This amazing show of fantabulous ghouls will include performances by Josslynn, Bee Tish, Raesha, Quinn, J Shawn and Kaitlyn.

Pre-sale tickets are $25; tickets at the door are $35. Doors open at 6:29 p.m. Bring your own beverages. For more information, call JoBette at 808-960-4671.

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