Top 20 things to do on the Big Island for Feb. 22-29: International Night, ʻImiloa’s 18th birthday celebration, all-you-can-eat ice cream and much more

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If you’re looking for an international experience, look no further than the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo this weekend.

The 49th annual International Night on Feb. 23 invites the public to experience performances by students representing cultures and countries from around the globe at the UH-Hilo Performing Arts Center at the Kawili Street campus.

ʻImiloa Astronomy Center is also celebrating its 18th birthday this weekend with a fun-filled day that honors Hawaiʻi’s native forest birds. And if you want to satisfy your sweet tooth with a frozen treat, head out to the 8th annual All-You-Can-Eat Ice Cream Jam on Sunday in Hilo.

These are just a few of the many events, activities and performances happening during the next week on the Big Island.

Check out our top 20 things to do on the Big Island for Feb. 22-29.

No. 1 — 49th annual International Night (Hilo, Feb. 23)

Image from Facebook

See the show. See the world. Each year, the International Student Association of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo produces shows that feature performances from the many different cultures and countries represented on campus.

The event, which begins at 7:30 p.m. at the UH-Hilo Performing Arts Center, located at 200 W. Kawili St., is a favorite among students, the community and visitors.

Tickets are $20 or $5 for children 17 and younger and UH-Hilo and Hawaiʻi Community College students with a valid ID. Get your tickets online or by phone from 9 to 11 a.m. through today at 808-932-7490.

No. 2 — ʻImiloa’s 18th Lā Hānau Celebration (Hilo, Feb. 25)

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This free event celebrates ʻImiloa Astronomy Center’s 18th birthday and honors Hawaiʻi’s native forest birds, featuring fun activities and crafts about Hawaiian manu, special live programs in the planetarium with natural resource experts, interactive exhibits and more.


Enjoy a fun-filled day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the astronomy center, located at 600 ʻImiloa Place, with the ʻohana while learning about the importance of native forest birds and the ecosystems they inhabit.

For more information, click here.

No. 3 — 8th annual All-You-Can-Eat Ice Cream Jam (Hilo, Feb. 25)

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Here’s the scoops! Come out and get your fill of the tasty frozen dairy treat while helping to support music in Big Island schools during this event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium, located at 323 Manono St.

The event will feature performances by Hilo High Taiko, Hilo Intermediate School Band, Waiākea ʻUkulele Band, Waiākea Intermediate School Band, Waiākea High School Band, Kea’au High School Band, Kea’au Middle School Band, Pāhoa High School Band and Hilo High School Viking Band.


There also will be other concessions, a craft fair and lucky number drawings. Pre-sale tickets are $8 and can be purchased through any of the above band members. Tickets at the door are $10.

No. 3 — “Can I Have Your Pearl Bracelet?” author event (Hilo, Feb. 24)

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Come to Basically Books, located at 334 Kīlauea Ave., from 1 to 2 p.m. and hear Frances Kakugawa talk about her new book “Can I Have Your Pearl Bracelet?” The book is a collection of stories and poems about being alive and learning to grow through the challenges you face.

Parking is limited to on-street parking on Kīlauea Avenue and Kukuau Street. There is additional parking available in the public lot across the street, below Ben Franklin.

For more information, call the store at 808-961-0144.

No. 4 — Paint & Purr (Kailua-Kona, Feb. 27)

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Join Kona Kat Café, located in Suite B105 at 75-5725 Ali‘i Drive, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. every last Tuesday of the month for this special watercolor painting class. Talented and inspiring artist Tiffany Looi hosts the class.

All supplies, canvas and instruction are included, as well as entry into the café’s Catio.

Enjoy a Happy “Mocktail” Hour with the cats while painting beautiful watercolor pictures. Cost is $50 for adults and children older than 13. Register at the Kona Kat Café website.

No. 5 — Steely Dead live in concert (Hilo, Feb. 23)

Image from the Palace Theater website.

The Palace Theater, located at 38 Haili St., is proud to present this band, which has gained a dedicated following with its electrifying performances and soulful interpretation of classic tunes.

Steely Dead’s repertoire is a carefully crafted fusion of the arrangement and precision studio recordings of rock legends Steely Dan and the Grateful Dead’s free-flowing, melodic improvisation and masterful song segues. The band’s performances are musical journeys that take audiences on a nostalgic trip through the golden era of rock and roll.

Doors, box office and concessions open at 6 p.m. The show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35 for general admission or $50 for priority orchestra. All tickets are $5 more the day of the show. Click here to purchase your tickets now and find additional information.

There is also a Steely Dead show Feb. 22 at the Blue Dragon Tavern in Kawaihae. Click here for more information. The band also has shows planned for Feb. 24 at Kona Elks Lodge 2616 in Kailua-Kona and Feb. 25 at Tiki Mama’s in Ocean View. Tickets for the Kona show can be purchased online. You can buy tickets for the Ocean View event at the gate.

No. 6 — Shortcut To The Heart (Kea‘au, Feb. 24)

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You are invited to an immersive experience from 12:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Lanai Yoga, located at 15-2019 8th Ave., that will take you on a journey rooted in sacred mystical traditions and mindfulness practices that awaken the resonance and harmony of the heart.

A sumptuous catered meal is included. The evening will close under the stars with a candle-lit concert by Gayan & Friends.

For additional information or to register, click here.

No. 7 — Iration: Daytrippin’ in Hawaiʻi (Kailua-Kona, Feb. 24)

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BAMP Project presents this alternative/reggae group whose deeply rooted island influence and Hawaiʻi upbringing is fused with elements of rock, pop and soul to create smooth, uplifting original sounds. The show also features special guest Kabaka Pyramid.

After almost two decades of creating music, Iration has racked up more than 1 billion streams, topped Billboard charts and established itself as one of the most beloved reggae-rock bands to emerge from the SoCal scene.

The show starts at 7 p.m. at Kona Brewing Co., located at 74-5617 Pawai Place, and all ages are welcome. Tickets are $45 and can be purchased online in advance.

No. 8 — SOKO 9th annual Studio Tour (South Kona, Feb. 24-25)

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Come and see some beautiful handmade jewelry, prints, quilts, paintings and more during this open studio event from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Hosted by the South Kona Artists Collective, the tour includes 21 artists featured at 14 studio locations along the winding and scenic Māmalahoa Highway throughout South Kona.

Those who attend can expect to learn from and have the chance to talk with each of the artists about their inspiration and techniques. A wide range of fine art, smaller items and gifts will also be available for sale.

For more information, call 808-443-9587 or email to [email protected]. You can also find directions and a map online of the participating studios.

No. 9 — Metals Guided Open Studio (Hōlualoa, Feb. 22 and 29)

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These open studio workshops are designed for metalsmiths to continue their exploration with guidance from Deborah Beetson. They are hosted from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Thursdays throughout February at Donkey Mill Art Center, located at 78-6670 Māmalahoa Highway.

To participate, you must have an active Donkey Mill membership, be familiar with studio etiquette, be able to work independently, have taken at least one metals class in the past year at the Donkey Mill, know how to properly use tools and respect clean up procedures.

For more information, click here.

No. 10 — “HI RISE” world premiere screening (Hilo, Feb. 24)

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This film’s story starts in 2016, when creators Josh Ballauer, who also stars in the movie, and Chelsie Settlemier thought it would be fun to create a movie about what it’s like to live in Puna. Now, audiences have the chance to see the final product for the first time on the big screen at the Palace Theater, located at 38 Haili St.

The movie follows JahRun and Ifajah, who set up shop selling their gear and mixes. When villains steal Ifajah’s turntables, things start to turn crazy. As tension builds, JahRun and Ifajah plot to end the villain’s robbery spree and restore justice to the community. Watch the trailer online.

Doors, box office and concessions open at 6:30 p.m. Showtime is 7 p.m. The short film “Revival,” which features the 2022 eruption of Mauna Loa, will also be shown.

Tickets are $10 general admission or $9 for seniors, students and veterans. For more information or to purchase tickets in advance, click here.

No. 11 — Mālama Nā Keiki (Waimea, Feb. 24)

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Join Waimea Country School, located at 65-1237 Kawaihae Road, for this annual event that raises money for financial aid, arts and technology programs.

Each ticket includes one master class taught by members of the school’s ʻohana and community, dinner, drinks, music, entertainment and a chance to bid on silent/live auction items. Masterclasses, from 4 to 5 p.m., range from ʻukulele and breathwork to a planetarium show and stargazing, lei making, line dancing, swing dancing and mixology with Kuleana Rum.

Tickets are $125. For more information, call 808-885-0067 or email [email protected]. You can also find additional information and register for your master class by clicking here.

No. 12 — Keiki Stories (Kailua-Kona, Feb. 28)

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Come to Keauhou Shopping Center, located at 78-6831 Ali‘i Drive, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. for this special free story time for keiki ages 2 to 5 that includes light snacks and a chance to win a prize.

Seating is limited. For more information or any questions, call 808-324-0350.

You can register your keiki online at Eventbrite.

No. 13 — Paint ‘n Sip (Kea‘au, Feb. 24)

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Unleash your inner artist while sipping on delicious Hawaiian mead (honey wine) beginning at 2 p.m. at Big Island Meadery, located at 16-594 Kipimana St. in the Shipman Industrial Park. You’ll also help raise funds for Ke ‘Olu Makani O Mauna Loa in preparation for the 2024 George Na‘ope Hula Festival in Sacramento, Calif.

Whether you’re a seasoned painter or a complete beginner, this event is for everyone. The talented instructors will guide participants step-by-step in creating their own masterpieces. No need to worry about bringing any supplies, as everything will be provided.

Tickets are $65 and include one flight of mead tasting and one full glass of your favorite mead. Food will be available for purchase from food truck Erika’s Kitchen. Click here to purchase tickets.

No. 14 — Wild Roses and Friends from Japan (Hilo, Feb. 23)

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What? Country music from Japan?

You heard that right. Wildwood Roses is one of Japan’s premier country bands and it’s making a stop from 6 to 9 p.m. at Kukuau Studio, located at 43-D Kukuau St., while on tour. Get your boots scootin’ and ready to boogie. You’ll also be delighted by the opening act Kaʻūmana Sunrise.

Doors open at 5 p.m. Tickets are just $5 at the door. All ages welcome.

No. 15 — Poetry Reading by Gwyn Görg (Hilo, Feb. 25)

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Join the East Hawaiʻi Cultural Center, located at 141 Kalākaua St., from 4 to 5:30 p.m. for anecdotes and original poetry, published and unpublished, from this artist, who was born in San Antonio, Texas, and whose career has encompassed a wide spectrum of work in the field of community, educational media and entertainment.

Görg has worked as a drama and storytelling specialist for the Herb Alpert Foundation and Read-A-Loud America; was named Teacher of the Year by the United Teachers of Los Angeles in 2007 and also served as president of the African Americans on Maui Association for many years. In 2022, she became a member of the Hawaiʻi Writers’ Guild and published a new book.

Admission to the poetry reading is free; however, donations will be accepted. For more information, click here.

No. 16 — Keoki Kahumoku live (Pāpaʻaloa, Feb. 22)

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Come out to Pāpaʻaloa Country Store and Café, located at 35-2032 Old Māmalahoa Highway, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. for a night of authentic Kihoʻalu and ʻukulele featuring a variety of Hawaiian and contemporary music.

Recording artist 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.

For more information, contact the store at 808-339-7614.

No. 17 — Exploring Within x Embodiment Journey with Tam (Hōlualoa, Feb. 25)

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Dive deep into the healing power of movement, music, art and dance as you enjoy a one-of-a-kind silent disco experience surrounded by nature from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. on a beautiful outdoor dance floor in paradise on a picturesque coffee farm.

This is a fully immersive sensory silent disco experience hosted by Exploring Within uses wireless noise-canceling headphones that will take you on an inner journey of self-discovery and connection with nature, self and others. The event is designed to inspire joy, well-being, healing, freedom, belonging, acceptance, community, authentic expression and deep connection.

Tickets start at $55. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here. Directions to the coffee farm 1 mile north of Hōlualoa will be in a separate email after you register.

No. 18 — Kanikapila Monthly Concert Series (Waikōloa, Feb. 24)

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Discover Hawai‘i Island’s best musical talents from 6 to 8 p.m., the third Saturday of each month at Queens’ Marketplace, located at 69-201 Waikōloa Beach Drive.

This month’s special evening of music will feature local musician Higgs. Everyone is welcome. The event was pushed back a week this month because of the shopping center’s Lunar New Year celebration.

For more information, contact Queens’ Marketplace at 808-886-8822.

No. 20 — A VAC Archival Movie Night (Volcano, Feb. 22)

Image from the Volcano Art Center website

Volcano Art Center’s Heritage and Archive Program presents the first of the Archive Film Series, which shares a glimpse of the art center’s unique 50-year history.

Digitized and restored footage is now available for public viewing, highlighting the people and events that shaped the arts and community at the summit of Kīlauea. The presentation is free, although donations are appreciated, and will be from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the art center’s Ni‘aulani Campus, 19-4074 Old Volcano Road.

The program will run monthly. For more information, visit the Volcano Art Center website or call 808-967-8222.

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