Top 10 things to do on Big Island for April 25-May 1, plus 1: Big Island Singers concerts, Hālau O Ka Ua Kani Lehua hula showcase, Honoka’a Spring Carnival, Lei Day Festival and more

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The Big Island again abounds with events perfect for keiki to kūpuna, including music, dancing, the chance to adopt a new furry friend and more.

Come to one of three spring concerts to be performed by the Big Island Singers for beautiful music and thought-provoking sentiments on the subjects of dark and light. Watch as the art of hula is put on display during Hālau O Ka Ua Kani Lehua’s second annual hula showcase.

Help welcome an agency dedicated to helping adults with developmental disabilities into its new office. Find a few plants to take home while supporting a community organization that helps the Pana‘ewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens. You can even enjoy a carnival in downtown Honoka‘a.

That’s just a taste of what’s going on during the next week. Plus, don’t miss your chance to laugh with comedian Augie T. during a special event by AARP Hawai‘i commemorating Older Americans Month.

Here are our top 10 things to do on the Big Island, plus one, for the week of April 25-May 1.

No. 1 — “Dark and Light”: Timeless Sentiments, Modern Renditions (Hilo, April 26-28)

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Join the Big Island Singers at one of the three-hour-long concerts featuring a richness of beautiful music and thought-provoking sentiments on the timeless subjects of dark and light.

Highlights will include the world premiere of local composer and pianist Doug Howell’s “Color In My Eyes.” The choir will also be joined by a string quartet led by violinist Mark Caudill.

The concerts are at 7 p.m. Friday at Church of the Holy Cross, located at 440 W. Lanikāula St.; 4 p.m. Saturday at First United Protestant Church, located at 1350 Waiānuenue Ave.; and 4 p.m. Sunday at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Apostles, located at 1407 Kapi’olani St. They are free to attend; however, donations are welcome.

No. 2 — Kēia Lā ‘Apōpō. A Mau Loa (Hilo, April 27)

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Hālau O Ka Ua Kani Lehua presents its second annual hula showcase beginning at 10 a.m. at Kawananakoa Gym, located at 156 Baker Ave. in the Keaukaha community of Hilo.


The late Johnny Lum Ho, who holds the record for the most Miss Aloha Hula winners and countless awards at the Merrie Monarch Festival, started the hālau. His ‘ohana leads the hālau today, continuing Uncle Johnny’s legacy.

Doors open at 9 a.m. Concessions will be available, with proceeds helping support the nonprofit hālau. For more information, call 808-746-0768 or email

No. 3 — Community Resource Fair (Kea‘au, April 27)

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Everyone is invited to join Kea‘au Middle School and its Parent Teacher Student Association from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Shipman Gym parking lot, located at 16-525 Old Volcano Road.

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, Girl Scouts, The Food Basket and other community partners will man tables and provide valuable resources for students, families and the greater community. Hawai‘i Police Department representatives will also attend, offering keiki identification cards by request.


Various school clubs and committees will have tables sharing information or raising funds as well, along with a rummage sale, lunch pickup and car wash for a nominal fee, all benefiting Kea‘au Middle School students. For more information, call Vice Principal Debbie Collins at 808-313-4800.

No. 4 — Full Life open house (Hilo, April 26)

Image from Full Life news and blog website

Full Life, an agency serving people with disabilities on the Big Island, invites the community to celebrate the relocation of its Hilo office during this special event from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Friday at the new 792 Pi‘ilanai St. location.

Those who attend will have the opportunity to engage with the agency’s staff and participants to learn more about its programs and services for adults and children with developmental disabilities in an interactive and welcoming environment. Kahu Kauila Haumea, founder of ‘Ohana Wa‘a Laulima Canoe Club, will also perform a traditional blessing ceremony.

Refreshments, pupus and other activities will be available. For more information, click here or contact Maire Sanford at 808-935-7699.

No. 5 — Pet Mega Adoption Fair (Hawaiian Paradise Park, April 27)

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Several animal rescue organizations invite everyone looking for a new fur baby or furry friend to come out from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to the Hawaiian Paradise Park Community Center, located at 15-1570 Maku‘u Drive. Cats and dogs will be available for adoption.

Participating organizations are Aloha Ilio Rescue, Haka Alliance, Action 4 Animals, Rainbow Friends Animal Sanctuary and Hawai‘i County Animal Control.

Door prizes, agility demonstrations, obedience training, a silent auction and a lucky number draw also are planned. For more information or questions, contact Action 4 Animals at

No. 6 — 2nd annual Lei Day Festival (Waikōloa, April 28)

Image from Kings’ Shops website

Celebrate the spirit of aloha from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Kings’ Shops, located at 250 Waikōloa Beach Drive, and immerse yourself in the rich culture of Hawai‘i with live music, hula performances and an artisan market showcasing local talent and crafts.

Let your keiki delight in specially curated activities just for them, including a photo booth, face painting, scavenger hunts and more during this festival that celebrates the art and history of lei making. For adults, there’s also the second annual Cocktail Competition. Bartenders from some of your favorite bars and restaurants will be pitted against each other in three rounds.

The festival is free to attend. For more information, click here.

No. 7 — Friends of the Pana‘ewa Zoo annual Spring Plant Sale (Hilo, April 27)

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This is your chance to browse a large selection of plants from local nurseries and vendors, get advice about plants and support the Friends of the Pana‘ewa Zoo, all at the same time.

From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the entrance to the Equestrian Center at Pana‘ewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens, located at 800 Stainback Highway, a variety of plants, including bamboo, palms, fruit trees, orchids, water plants, garden flowers, carnivorous plants and much more will be for sale.

The sale is free to attend, so don’t miss the chance to take home some beautiful plants. For more information, email Mike Newman at

No. 8 — World Tai Chi and Qigong Day 2024 (Kailua-Kona, April 27)

Image from Eventbrite website

Tens of thousands of people in more than 80 countries around the globe will come together and breathe together during events celebrating the day, including a free tai chi gathering from 10 a.m. to noon on the beach side of the north end of Old Kona Airport State Recreation Area, located at 75-5560 Kuakini Highway.

For many, World Tai Chi and Qigong Day is a chance for them to learn about other cultures. Doing so can help increase awareness and education toward the greater world and foster a greater understanding of different backgrounds.

No experience is necessary, just come and have fun. All groups, all styles welcome. Invite your friends, too. For more information, call Sifu Chee at 808-938-6157 or email to

No. 9 — Honoka‘a Spring Carnival (Honoka‘a, April 27)

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Step right up to the Honoka‘a Business Association’s next Super Saturday event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Māmane Street which will be transformed into pure carnival magic.

Free carnival-style games will line the sidewalks from noon to 3 p.m. Participate in each of the games and earn a $5 gift certificate redeemable at participating Honoka‘a businesses. Those who attend will also enjoy multiple magic shows performed by Alexander the Great, balloon animals, face painting, a splash tank, food trucks, pop-up vendors and more.

Don’t miss this great event that’s not just free to attend, but is sure to be fun for all ages. For more information, email

No. 10 — Frank Zappa Tribute Concert (Hilo, April 27)

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Frank Zappa was an outspoken critic of everything from the herd mentality of the middle class to censorship of rock and roll. During his career, he worked with every genre from rock to jazz to classical music and produced 60 albums. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1995.

The Hilo Jazz Orchestra returns at 7 p.m. live in concert on the stage at the historic Palace Theater, located at 38 Haili St., to perform a tribute to the man who used his prodigious musical talent to challenge the status quo. Special guest HAASTILE will open the show.

Doors, box office and concessions open at 6 p.m. Advance tickets are $10 for students with a valid student ID, $20 for general admission and $30 for priority orchestra seats and can be purchased now online. Tickets are $5 more the day of the show, except student tickets.

No. 11 — An Evening of Comedy with Augie T. (Hilo, May 2; must register in advance)

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AARP Hawai‘i invites the public to laugh and be social during this special event at 6 p.m. at Aunty Sally Kaleohano’s Lū‘au Hale, located at 799 Pi‘ilani St. The show commemorates Older Americans Month and honors AARP Hawai‘i’s involvement in the community.

Doors open at 5 p.m. and concessions will be available, along with information about upcoming AARP Hawai‘i events and resources.

Tickets are free and you don’t have to be an AARP member nor of AARP age to attend. You do, however, need to pre-register as seating is limited. You can register by clicking here or under the events tab on the AARP Hawai‘i Facebook page.

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