Hawaii Calendar: March 2012

A look ahead to the happenings of the Hawaiian Islands By: Marty Wentzel
Kona Brewers Festival offers beer tastings, food and festivities. // © 2012 Jacot
Kona Brewers Festival offers beer tastings, food and festivities. // © 2012 Jacot

Spotlight: Hawaii Island
March 9-10: Kona Brewers Festival. From the lightest lagers to the darkest stouts, beer flows freely from the taps of more than 40 breweries while restaurants offer their culinary creations. Set on the shores of Kailua Bay, the largest beer festival in the Pacific doubles as a benefit for various organizations. Live music, a golf tournament and a footrace add to the festivities. (808-331-3033, www.konabrewersfestival.com)

Hawaii Island
March 2: Pianist Soyeon Lee. A 2010 Naumburg Competition prize winner, Lee was hailed by The New York Times as a pianist with “a huge, richly varied sound, a lively imagination and a firm sense of style.” She has wowed audiences from Cleveland to South Korea as a guest soloist with orchestras. Kahilu Theatre, Waimea. (808-885-6868, www.kahilutheatre.org)

March 5: Niaulani Nature Walk. Each Monday, this free one-hour nature walk travels through a lush portion of an old-growth Hawaiian rainforest on an easy loop trail. Guides focus on the biological, ecological and geological features of the area as well as the cultural uses of flora and fauna by native Hawaiians. Meet at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus, Volcano Village. (808-967-8222, www.volcanoartcenter.org)

March 11-26: Prince Kuhio Celebration of the Arts. One of Hawaii’s most beloved monarchs was born on Kauai. Islanders and visitors commemorate his birth with cultural demonstrations, talk-story sessions, canoe races, a rodeo, a spearfishing tournament, a luau and more. Many events take place at Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa. (808-240-6369, www.princekuhio.net)

March 17: Garden Isle Artisan Fair. More than 40 craftspeople from Kauai and around Polynesia showcase and sell their handmade wares, while island musicians serenade the free day-long festivities. For nourishment, clients can buy plate lunches, Hawaiian shave ice and fruit smoothies. Poipu Beach. (808-245-9021, www.kauaifestivals.com)

March 30-31: Spring Fantasy. Kauai is called the Garden Island — and for good reason. This annual cornucopia of blossoms, presented by the Garden Island Orchid Society, showcases the destination’s green thumb as it presents an exotic range of orchid plants. Clients can try hands-on crafts, activities and buy great local food as well. United Church of Christ, Hanapepe. (808-742-0333, www.gardenislandorchidsociety.org)

March 3: Jake Shimabukuro. Living proof that the ukulele is capable of so much more than traditional Hawaiian music, Shimabukuro and his band dazzle audiences with intricate strumming and plucking, electrifying high-energy grooves and melodic ballads. Castle Theater, Maui Arts and Cultural Center, Kahului. (808-242-7469, www.mauiarts.org)

March 10-11: Lahaina Whale and Ocean Arts Festival. Maui’s historic whaling town celebrates the annual migration of Pacific humpback whales with such festivities as free educational presentations and videos, marine-themed art for sale, Hawaiian musicians and hula troupes. There’s also a kids’ ocean art contest and whale photo displays. Lahaina. (808-667-9175, www.visitlahaina.com)

March 2: First Friday. What do locals like to do to kick off their weekends? They head to First Friday, where downtown Honolulu galleries, museums and studios open their doors to the public in the evening. Highlights include live music, street entertainment, cafes and bistros, antique stores and even a tattoo parlor. A free gallery walking map is available at all participating sites. (808-521-2903, www.firstfridayhawaii.com)

March 6 and 9: Waikiki Farmer’s Market. Every Tuesday and Friday, visitors can mingle with locals while enjoying distinctive flavors of the islands, from locally grown fruits and vegetables and island fish to fresh-baked pastries, tropical fruit preserves and barbecue plate lunches. Waikiki Community Center. (808-923-1802, www.waikikicommunitycenter.org)

March 24-25: Waikiki Artfest. Hawaii has a way of inspiring the creative spirit, as this event demonstrates. Eighty of the islands’ most talented artists display and sell their work, including jewelry, clothing, ceramics and wood products, with live music and food on hand. Kapiolani Park, across from the entrance to the Honolulu Zoo. (808-696-6717, www.gohawaii.com)

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