Hawaii Calendar July 2009

What's going on throughout the islands

Hawaii’s Big Island

July 3: Parker Ranch Independence Day Rodeo. What’s the difference between a regular ranch-hand and a real-life paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy)? The answer awaits at this yearly roping, riding and racing jamboree, where island buckaroos demonstrate traditional rodeo events. Spectators can enjoy local food and shop for leatherwear. Waimea. 808-885-5669

July 11: Kilauea Cultural Festival. At this day-long celebration of Hawaiiana, visitors can learn how to make a flower lei, ti leaf cape and lauhala bracelet, throw fishing nets, decorate gourds and sample island foods. It’s a great chance for visitors to mingle with island residents. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park’s Kahuku Unit near mile 70 on Highway 11, about 40 miles south of the park’s main entrance. 808-985-6153

July 20-24: Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament. Serious anglers from around the world congregate on the Big Island for this prestigious invitational deep-sea fishing contest, now in its 50th year. Each morning, they head to sea in search of a prized Pacific blue marlin, sometimes waiting just five minutes away from the start. Each afternoon they return to the docks with their hefty catch, and the public gathers around during the exciting daily weigh-ins. Kona. 808-836-3422


July 4: Concert in the Sky. This family-oriented Fourth of July celebration benefits Kauai Hospice. Kids love the inflatables, games and youthful activities; parents make bids at the silent auction; and visitors of all ages indulge in food and entertainment. Festivities culminate in the island’s largest aerial fireworks show, set to music. Vidinha Soccer Field, Lihue. 808-245-7277

July 18-26: Koloa Plantation Days. You don’t need to have a sweet tooth to appreciate this annual tribute to sugar, a crop with deep roots on Kauai. Activities include sports contests, craft fairs, block parties, guided hikes, historical tours and a rodeo. On the last weekend, hundreds of spectators line the streets of Koloa town for a parade, followed by a festival. 808-652-3217

July 29-Aug. 1: Kauai Music Festival. This annual, four-day songwriters’ event brings musicians together from around the islands and across the globe for workshops, contests, discussions and jam sessions centered around the craft of songwriting. Clients can hobnob with some of the best in the business, including Grammy-winning producers and composers and industry bigwigs. Hilton Kauai Beach Resort, Lihue. 808-634-6237

Maui County

July 4: Pineapple Festival. There aren’t many rows of pineapples left on Hawaii’s smallest island destination, but the community still likes celebrating the history of the spiny fruit and its impact on island culture. Check out the pineapple eating, cutting and cooking contests, game booths, Hawaiian crafts demonstrations and live, local entertainment. Dole Park, Lanai City. 808-565-0200

July 26: Molokai to Oahu Paddleboard Race. Considered the world championship of long-distance, open-ocean paddling, this race spans 32 miles of deep, treacherous seas between Molokai and Oahu. Competitors paddle the distance on specialized streamlined boards ranging from 12 to 17 feet long. Cheer for the athletes at the 7 a.m. start by the shores of West Molokai’s Kaluakoi Hotel. 808-637-2299



 Dancers at the Prince Lot Hula Festival // © 2009 Moanalua Gardens

July 18: Prince Lot Hula Festival. Named after a monarch who did his part to perpetuate Hawaiian culture, the state’s oldest and largest non-competitive exhibition of hula takes place under decades-old monkeypod trees. In between acts, clients can watch and learn how to make a variety of island crafts, play traditional Hawaiian games and sample local food at this 32-year-old event. Moanalua Gardens, Honolulu. 808-839-5334

July 18-19: Haleiwa Arts Festival. Designed to share a taste of laid-back life on Oahu’s North Shore, the weekend’s free festivities include musicians, dancers, storytellers, cultural trolley tours, children’s games, demonstrations, art activities and presentations by visual artists. Haleiwa Beach Park. 808-637-2277

July 19: Ukulele Festival. For decades, residents and visitors have enjoyed this concert showcasing some of the finest ukulele players in the world, along with Hawaii entertainers and a ukulele orchestra of more than 800 children. Food booths and ukulele displays round out the plucky event, now in its 39th year. Kapiolani Park Bandstand, Waikiki. 808-732-3739