Top 10 things to do on Big Island for May 23-29: Celebration of Life, Robert Cazimero live, Ladies That Rock, Memorial Day Homelani and more

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Memorial Day Weekend — and an extra day off work for many — is just around the corner. It’s a time to remember loved ones who passed away and the brave men and women who sacrificed it all to protect their nation and all of us.

The long holiday weekend also gives you an opportunity to check out all the events happening around the Big Island.

Memorial Day events include the 20th annual Celebration of Life hosted by Hawai‘i Care Choices at Reeds Bay Beach Park in Hilo. The celebration is the Big Island’s largest lantern-floating event.

Memorial Day Homelani pays tribute to members of the military who died while in service to the nation. The event will include free shave ice and hot dogs, and lanterns for the Celebration of Life will be available for purchase.

There are several other events you might want to attend during the next week with your extra time, including a live concert by kumu hula, singer, songwriter and entertainer Robert Cazimero, the first installment of the Ladies That Rock Summer Showcase Jam Series and the Can’t Even Comedy Hawai‘i Tour.

Here are the top 10 things to do on the Big Island for May 23-29.


No. 1 — 20th annual Celebration of Life (Hilo, May 26)

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When: Noon to 7:30 p.m.

Where: Reeds Bay Beach Park, 225 Banyan Drive

The community is invited to be part of this uplifting, heart-moving experience — and the Big Island’s largest lantern floating event — in remembrance of loved ones who passed. There also will be a special ceremony at noon to pay tribute to the resilience of Maui wildfire survivors.

The celebration program begins at 3:30 p.m. with the first bon dance of Obon Season. Local food trucks and vendors, lantern and event T-shirt sales and the new pop-up Mākeke tent with baked goods, bentos, keiki meals and shave ice will be available. Live music by local artists and local hula hālau performances are also part of the event, with the lantern release at sunset.


Luminary decorating tents will be open from noon to 6 p.m. Lanterns are $25, personally decorated by you and can be purchased online through Saturday. They can also be purchased at the event while supplies last. All proceeds support hospice families and community members receiving bereavement care.

For more information, click here. You can also email to

No. 2 — Robert Cazimero in concert (Waimea, May 25)

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When: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Kahilu Theater, 67-1186 Lindsey Road


Hawai‘i’s revered and beloved kumu hula, singer, songwriter and entertainer continues his 38-year tradition of performing live at Kahilu, offering audience members a memorable evening of music, hula and storytelling.

Recognized worldwide as a talented and influential ambassador of Hawaiian culture, Cazimero has performed traditional and contemporary Hawaiian music and dance throughout his life. His charismatic stage presence showcases his unparalleled ability to connect with audiences and invite them on the journey of his life’s story.

Don’t miss this opportunity to experience it in person. Tickets, which start at $40, are still available, but going fast. Click here to get yours now.

No. 3 — Ladies That Rock Summer Showcase Jam Series (Hilo, May 24)

Image from Facebook

When: 6 to 10 p.m.

Where: The Venue, Suite No. 5, 811 Laukapu St.

Come out for a great night of entertainment by some of the greatest ladies in town. The event will feature 11 performances, three bands, comedy, solo artists, lyricists and so much fun. Bring your friends, settle in and enjoy the evening at an incredible new venue in the heart of Hilo.

Bring your own beer and/or wine. You must be 21 or older with a valid ID to attend. Seats are limited to 60. Let organizers know you are coming on the Facebook event page.

Help kick off this series during the first of three jam sessions planned this summer. All will lead up to an event that is just the first of three, with them all leading up to a huge showcase in August that will feature a group of talented ladies selected from each of the monthly jams.

No. 4 — Garage Sale (Kailua-Kona, May 25)

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When: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: Great American Self Storage of Kailua-Kona, 74-5499 Loloku St.

Have you done your spring cleaning yet? No? It’s almost summertime, man. It’s time to start cleaning house!

Community members who need to clear out unwanted items and somewhere to sell them are invited to declutter by signing up to participate in this sale event. Even If you don’t have a unit at the company’s facility and still want to participate, just call the office at 808-329-8700 or stop by during regular business hours at the address above.

A $50 registration fee guarantees you a 20-by-10-foot space to set up all of your things. Don’t wait. There are still units available to rent for the sale, but they are limited.

No. 5 — Family Fun Day on the Lawn (Hilo, May 25)

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When: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: Reeds Bay Beach Park, 225 Banyan Drive

Join the Overcoming Faith Center with partners Hawai‘i Printing, Men of Pa‘a, Waiākea Hawaiian Volcanic Water, Sunbelt Rentals, The Food Basket, Hawai‘i County, Nani Mau, Jarneski Rentals and Hawai‘i John’s for this free event for the community.

There will be food you can chew on food for the spirit, praise and worship, water baptism and much more. For more information, call 808-319-6791.

No. 6 — “Colors” (Waimea, May 26)

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When: 4 p.m.

Where: Kahilu Theater, 67-1186 Lindsey Road

Join Kona Dance and Performing Arts for its 8th annual Spring Concert. Students and choreographers worked hard during the past 10 months to bring audiences a stunning and vibrant display of performing arts including dance genres such as tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop, contemporary, lyrical and musical theatre. This is also the first time acting students will share their craft during the annual Spring Concert.

Performers will bring the audience a kaleidoscope of colors. Come see the singers, actors and of course, dancers of Kona Dance and Performing Arts live.

Tickets start at $35 for adults. Keiki 13 years old and younger are $15. They can be purchased in advance online.

No. 7 — Can’t Even Comedy Hawai‘i Tour (Kailua-Kona, May 24; Hilo, May 25)

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When: 7 p.m. May 24; 7 p.m. May 25; doors open at 6:30 p.m. both nights

Where: The Elks Theatre, 75-170 Hualālai Road, Kona; Hilo Town Market, 69 Waianuenue Ave., Hilo

Can’t Even Comedy Co. is super excited to bring this show to Kailua-Kona and Hilo. The lineup is insane, with a mix of headliner comics with mainland and Hawai‘i favorites.

Comedians include Uncle Lazer, Can’t Even Comedy Co. founder Caitlin Benson, Chino Laforge, Ben Gordon and Jesse Mumma. The show in Hilo will also feature Leonarda Jonie and Heston. The lineup is subject to change without notice.

You must be 18 or older to attend one of these shows. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here for the Kona show and here for the Hilo event. The cost of tickets at each show is just $25.

No. 8 — 2nd annual Kaulana Bash (Hilo, May 25)

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When: 5:30 to 10 p.m.

Where: Grand Naniloa Hotel, 93 Banyan Drive

Pakele Entertainment presents this event in celebration of the legacy Kaulana Pakele and will feature Mark Yamanaka, The Brown Boys and Manaʻo Company with special guests Jordan T, Leimau, Dillon Pakele and more.

Kaulana Pakele was a Hawaiian musician and lead singer of the Mana‘o Company. He died in May 2020 after running into trouble in waters off Mākaha, O‘ahu. He was 47 years old. Pakele was also a founding member of renowned Hilo group ‘Ehukai. The group’s biggest hit was “Moloka’i Slide,” which won a Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award.

This is an all-ages celebration. The community is invited to come out for a night of aloha, legacy and good vibes! General admission is $35. Click here to purchase tickets now.

No. 9 — Hilo ‘Ohana Fun Festival (Hilo, May 25)

Image from Eventbrite

When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Sangha Hall, 424 Kīlauea Ave.

Child & Family Service, Hawai‘i’s family-centered, full-service nonprofit, is hosting this free family-focused festival for East Hawai‘i families, full of prize giveaways, crafts, games, food, informational fun booths and more. Child and Family Service staff will also be on hand to share information about their programs and community services.

This is a family event; adults will only be admitted if they are accompanied by their child(ren) who are younger than 18 years old. Maximum two adults per family per family. While there is no cost to attend, families must register in advance to be admitted.

Register today. To reserve your spot, click here. When prompted, list all family members attending along with their dates of birth to ensure space is reserved for all family members.

No. 10 — Memorial Day Homelani (Hilo, May 25)

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When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Homelani Memorial Park & Crematory, 388 Ponahawai St.

The Big Island community is invited to come out and pay tribute to the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the nation. Their bravery and dedication will never be forgotten.

The event will include free shave ice and hot dogs. Lanterns for the Hawai‘i Care Choices 20th annual Celebration of Life also will be available for purchase.

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