Honoka’a Western Week Coming in May

A week wrapped in palaka, paniolo pride and performance rolls out May 17-26, with exciting drama, movies, food events, rededication of the new Honoka‘a Arena, a 90th birthday gala for the Andrade Building and the rollicking fun of Honoka‘a Western Week (HWW).

Honoka'a RodeoSpearheaded by the Honoka‘a Business Association, HWW brings together a lively cast of characters and rich regional history for a week-long celebration. In addition to HWW’s ever-popular Paniolo Parade, Saloon Girl Contest and Mamane Street Block Party, this year’s events ride the range from cultural to historical, food, family fun and more.

Highlights include the touring production of the new play “The Legend of Ko‘olau,” written by Gary T. Kubota with support of the National Endowment for the Arts, Sunday at Honoka‘a Peoples Theater. The play takes place in 1893, when Hawaiian cowhand Ko‘olau single-handedly repelled a militia that had overthrown the Hawaiian queen – and became a legend among his people.

On Monday, Mayor Kenoi and other dignitaries will hold a blessing ceremony and re-dedication of the refurbished “Honoka‘a Rose Andrade Correia Arena.” The new name pays tribute to the family matriarch and benefactor who donated her land to the County of Hawai‘i in support of the Hawai‘i Saddle Club and Hawaii’s paniolo. The restored arena features new covered bleachers, restrooms, concession stand and other improvements. Monday evening’s events continue with a Chili Cook Off at The Landing restaurant.

Honokaa Rodeo

Then on Tuesday, creative hands and imagination work together with the Hāmākua Youth Center group, Calley O’Neill and other area artists to build do-it-yourself stick horses for Friday’s pre-parade stick horse race. Wednesday is Western Movie Night at Honoka‘a Peoples Theater, with a great line up of favorite “horse operas” for all to enjoy.

Thursday is a very special day, as the community is invited to dress up western-style and help celebrate the historic Andrade Building’s 90th Birthday. Beginning at 5 p.m., the evening includes talk story, music by the Country Lads and dancing on the “vintage” ʻ Ōhiʻa Lanai, complete with five of the original barstools. Theme refreshments include “cool sasparilla” and “hot lil’ doggies” for sale, plus custom logo mugs and stadium cups.

The main event, of course, is when the whole town turns cowboy for the Paniolo Parade and Block Party on Friday. Commemorative Honokaʻa Western Week buttons are available now at businesses throughout Honoka’a town for only $3.00 Buttons automatically enter purchasers in the block party lucky number drawing, and are not required for admission to events. However, participants are forewarned that anyone without a button may be subject to “arrest” by roving sheriffs, and locked up in the hoosegow until bail can be arranged (all in good fun, of course).

Honoka‘a Western Week is a volunteer-driven project of the Honokaʻa Business Association, The Hāmākua Farm Bureau and the Hāmākua Lion’s Club celebrating Hāmākua’s paniolo heritage and unique cultural blend. Sponsors include Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, County of Hawaiʻi CPEP, Councilwoman Valerie Poindexter and many other generous supporters. Checks payable to “Honokaʻa Business Association” can be sent to P.O. Box 474, Honokaʻa HI 96727, attention: Honoka‘a Western Week. Anyone requiring special assistance, please contact the Committee prior to May 9, 2014. For more information, follow Honoka‘a Western Week on Facebook.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

  • May 9. Deadline to enter Saloon Girl and Cowboys Got Talent Contests. For information, call Jill Mattos, 808-960-5605 or Lorie Farrell, 808-557-2780.
  • May 17-26. Celebrate Honokaʻa Western Week with Honokaʻa Business Association. Everyone is invited to dress up western-style and visit Honoka‘a town merchants, plus join in different paniolo-theme activities every night. For information, call Jeanne Keller, 808-775-0530.
  • Saturday, May 17, 7 p.m., “Hanau Ke Aliʻi,” a Hula Drama by Halau Na Kipuʻupuʻu about the life of King Kamehameha, Honokaʻa Peoples Theater.
  • Sunday, May 18, 3 p.m., “The Legend of Koʻolau” at Honokaʻa Peoples Theater. A special theatrical production about a true Hawaiian Cowboy written and performed by some of Hawaii’s foremost theatre personas and made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • Monday, May 19, 10 a.m. (subject to change) Blessing and re-opening of the newly refurbished Honokaʻa Arena.
  • Monday, May 19. Chili Cook Off hosted by The Landing. Set up at 5 p.m., judging at 8 p.m. Prizes for first, second and third place. For rules and details, please call Evelyn Offenbaker, 430-3593.
  • Tuesday, May 20, 3-5:30 p.m. Stick Horse Workshop. Make-your-own Stick Horse for the Races, with Calley O’Neill and other island artists,at Hāmākua Youth Center.
  • Wednesday, May 21. Western movies at the Peoples Theater
  • Thursday, May 22, 5-8 p.m. Memories of Honoka‘a Western Weeks Past, and blessing of the ʻŌhiʻa Lanai to celebrate the Andrade Building’s 90th birthday

Friday, May 23

  • 2 p.m., Road Closure
  • 3 p.m., Stick Horse Race
  • 4 p.m., Paniolo Parade down Mamane Street in Honoka‘a Town
  • 5 p.m., Block Party, Steak Fry fundraiser for Honokaʻa High School Track and Soccer Teams
  • 6 p.m., Saloon Girl and Cowboys Got Talent Contests
  • 8 p.m., Dancing in the Street

Saturday, May 24

  • 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Hawai‘i Saddle Club Scholarship Rodeo “Saturday Slack.” Rodeo tickets are $7 per person per day in advance $8 at the gate.

Sunday, May 25

  • 12 p.m. to Pau, Hawai‘i Saddle Club Scholarship Rodeo.

Monday, May 26

  • 12 p.m. to Pau, Hawai‘i Saddle Club Scholarship Rodeo.

 

Governor Abercrombie Declares May 3rd as “Big Island Chocolate Festival Day”

Hawai‘i Governor Neil Abercrombie has declared Saturday, May 3 as Big Island Chocolate Festival Day! The proclamation not only heralds Hawai’i’s growing cacao industry, but also the culinarians who masterfully create foods featuring chocolate.

Chocolate Festival

The three-day festival offers a full lineup of chocolate decadence from planting to plating: a Kona cacao farm tour, plus seminars, how-to culinary demonstrations, guided chocolate tastings—yum!— and an indulging festival gala at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i. All activities are open to the public.

Star power celebrity chocolatiers include “Mr. Chocolate” Jacques Torres of New York City, Chef Donald Wressell of Guittard chocolate, Chef Vincent Bourdin of Valrhona Chocolate and cacao consultant Ed Seguine.

Chef Jacques Torres

Chef Jacques Torres

The 6-10 p.m. Saturday gala features the Big Isle’s own celebrated contingent of culinarians for a chocolate-inspired feast of savory and sweet treats. Returning favorites include the savory mole bar staffed by West Hawai‘i culinary students, a towering chocolate fountain complete with fresh fruits and macaroons, plus an array of gaily decorated bonbons.

Gala fun showcases a chocolate sculpture using 40 pounds of chocolate, chocolate body painting, fine wines, chocolate-infused beer and the debut of a tasty new Bacardi Mango Fusion cocktail. Attendees can vote for the People’s Choice Award, dance the night away with Girls Nite Out! band and bid for activities and merchandise at a silent auction.

Hands-on Culinary seminar at last year’s Big Island Chocolate Festival

Hands-on Culinary seminar at last year’s Big Island Chocolate Festival

Festival beneficiaries are the $150,000 “Equip the Kitchen” campaign for the future Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and the Waldorf-inspired Kona Pacific Public Charter School. The third annual event is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc.

For tickets, visit www.BigIslandChocolateFestival.com. For accommodations, book with the hotel at 808-885-2000 and mention “Big Island Chocolate Festival.”

Hawaii Public Radio Wins Three Edward R. Murrow Awards

The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) has announced its regional 2014 Edward R. Murrow Awards, and Hawaii Public Radio has won in three categories. The entire newsroom won for “Best News Series” for “Feeding Ourselves: Hawaii ’s Food Future,” which included contributions from reporters on Oahu , Hawaii Island and Molokai . Reporter Molly Solomon won for “Best Breaking News” for her coverage of the molasses spill in Honolulu Harbor . Solomon also won in the “Feature Reporting” category for her piece “ Hawaii ’s Brain Drain,” done as part of the HPR News series “Neighbors.”

Regional Winners

“We are honored to receive recognition in this prestigious competition,” said HPR News Director Bill Dorman. “The work of our local news team is part of what is made possible by the generous support of our station members.” HPR CEO and General Manager Michael Titterton added “The commitment to quality journalism is an important and continuing piece of what we are at Hawaii Public Radio, and this recognition of the team’s accomplishments is gratifying.”

The RTDNA website says “the awards recognize the best electronic journalism produced by radio, television and online news organizations around the world.” The organization also noted that there were a record number of entries for this year’s awards, “in what proved to be one of the most competitive Edward R. Murrow Awards seasons in RTDNA history.” They are named for the broadcast news pioneer and longtime CBS news correspondent, legendary for both his radio and television coverage.   “The Murrow Awards honor journalism at its finest,” added Mike Cavender, Executive Director of RTDNA. “Local newsrooms serve their communities 365 days a year, and we’re proud to recognize the great work they do.”

All regional winners automatically advance to the national Edward R. Murrow Awards competition, which will be judged in May and presented in October.

Hawaii Public Radio can be heard throughout the state.  On Hawaii Island, HPR 1 is over the air in West Hawaii at 90.7 f.m. in Waimea at 94.7 fm, and in East Hawaii at 91.1 fm, and on Oceanic Cablevision 864.  HPR 2 is over the air in West Hawaii at 88.7 fm and at 89.7 fm, in Pahala at 91.7 fm, and on Oceanic Cablevision 865.  HPR 2 should be available over the air in East Hawaii by the end of the year.  Both stations are also online at www.hawaiipublicradio.org

Willie K Headlines “Best of the Fest” – Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i

Blues man, jazz artist, Hawaiian songwriter, slack key master, rock & roll, reggae and occasional opera singer, Hawaii’s own Willie K brings his considerable talents to the stage on Monday, May 26, 2014, for Big Island Film Festival’s “Best of the Fest” concert at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i. Willie Kahaiali‘i, (Willie K) has been entertaining audiences around the world since age 10; won multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards—most recently for “Warehouse Blues”–and a Grammy Award nomination.

Willie K

An eclectic and charismatic guitarist, Willie K has been called “a Hawaiian Jimi Hendrix,” by Honolulu Weekly, who also said, “he’s Gabby Pahinui, Andres Segovia and Eddie Van Halen rolled into one. Willie can mimic seemingly any style, moving easily between screaming Stratocaster, sweet slack key and jazzy, almost baroque, acoustic 12-string.”

In 2011, Willie K appeared on screen at BIFF in “Get a Job,” the outrageously funny comedy written and directed by Brian Kohne.

Willie K and Eric Gilliom

The Maui-created film boasted an all-star lineup of top Hawai‘i entertainers that also included Eric Gilliom, Augie T, Jake Shimabukuro, Carolyn Omine, Slam Poet Kealoha, Ernie Cruz, Jr., Amy Hanaiali‘i, Mick Fleetwood, Pat Simmons, the late Charles Ka‘upu, Willie Nelson, and Henry Kapono.

An entertainer with a generous heart, Willie K finds numerous ways to give back to the community. His annual Celebrity Golf Tournament for the Maui Memorial Medical Center’s Oncology Department is now in its eleventh year; and he is Hawai‘i spokesperson for the National Kidney Foundation. And, he can add Fisher House at Tripler Army Medical Center to his credit, as “Best of the Fest” includes a silent auction benefit for this important resource for military families.”

Tickets for “Best of the Fest” with Willie K can be purchased online at www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com. Admission is $40 at the door ($30 kama‘āina) and $35 in advance ($25 kama‘āina), $10 keiki 7-12. Some chairs will be available as will no-host bar, gourmet pupus and other movie snacks (no coolers please).

Best of the Fest includes:

  • Silent Auction to benefit Fisher House at Tripler Army Medical Center, 5-7 p.m.
  • Willie K in Concert, 5-7 p.m.
  • Audience-voted Best Feature and Best Short Films of BIFF 2013, 7:30-9:30 p.m.
  • Best of the Fest is also a fundraiser for Hawai‘i Island Food Basket.

The Big Island “Talk Story” Film Festival is a celebration of independent narrative films and filmmaking, taking place May 22-26, with celebrity guests Jackson Rathbone (the “Twilight” series) and Portia Doubleday (“Carrie,” “Youth in Revolt”). Major sponsors include The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, The Shops at Mauna Lani and Hawai‘i Tourism Authority/Hawai‘i County CPEP grant. Admission to films is free for active-duty military service members with I.D. For complete schedule information and tickets, visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com or call (808) 883-0394.

Kids at Kahilu – Waimea Theatre Connects Kids With Creativity

Whether it’s dance, drumming, soccer, or gardening that get your kid’s creative juices flowing, Kahilu Theatre has it covered with an array upcoming events and programs for youngsters.

On Saturday April 26th from 10am to 1pm Kahilu is opening its doors for a Family Fun Day in conjunction with the 15th annual Waimea Healthy Keiki Fest at the Parker Ranch Center Food Court. Kids of all ages are invited to be astounded by The Great Barusky Magician, join drop-in Hip Hop classes, learn the art of Origami, and create a sidewalk chalk masterpiece. Local musical duo “Hamajang” will set the beat with live music. The Herb Kane Hawaiian art exhibit, snack bar and Box Office will also be open to the public.

Next door, at the Parker Ranch Center, more than 30 presenters will offer hands-on activities to develop healthy keiki. The excitement continues outside with a climbing wall, bouncer, and keiki bike rodeo. Admission to the Keiki Fest and Family Fun Day are free.

Kahilu Dance

On Saturday evening, Kahilu Theatre presents Prince Dance Institute’s Season Finale: “Living Colors.” Director Angel Prince has devised a spectacular performance that exhibits the Big Island in all its glory, by showcasing the island’s many microclimates through dance, theatre, original music, time-lapse film and photography. A cast of 60 dancers aged 5 to adult will use trapeze, hip hop, breakdance, acting and contemporary dance to captivate the audience.

In addition to the “Living Colors” Saturday April 26th show at 7pm, there will also be a matinee show on Sunday April 27th at 2pm, along with two school shows on Wednesday April 23rd.  Prince Dance is Kahilu Theatre’s “in residence” dance academy, offering after-school classes as part of Kahilu’s ongoing Education program.  Tickets to the shows are priced at $25, $20, $15 and $10, and can be purchased from the Kahilu website www.kahilutheatre.org or from the Box Office which is now open from 12noon to 5pm Tuesday through Saturday, drop in or call 885-6868.

The Waimea Community is invited to the K(Arts) Grand Finale performance at Kahilu on Wednesday April 30 at 5.30pm.  Waimea Middle school students have participated in classes for 9 weeks, learning hip hop, Tahitian and Kahiko hula and chanting, African drumming, basket weaving and flower making, and backstage production.  K(Arts) instructors have been provided by Kahilu Theatre for the last seven years to create the popular, free after school enrichment program.  The family friendly finale celebration is also free.

Kids inspired to explore the arts themselves still have time to enroll in the 2014 Summer Arts program, happening June 2nd to July 3rd , Monday-Friday, 9am-4pm, for kids ages 6-12. Presented by Lavaroots Performing Arts, this year’s theme is “The Roots of Hip Hop.” Kids will have a chance to explore hip hop culture through drumming, African dance, capoeira, breakdance, soccer and other art forms. Field trips will include Imi Loa Astronomy Center, sailing and biweekly visits to Mala’ai Gardens.  Sign up forms are available online from http://kahilutheatre.org/Education/Youth.

Finally, the Kahilu Theatre hosts the Hawaii Opera Theatre on Sunday May 4 for a Gala Concert, and on Monday May 5 for a special production of The Mikado for schools audiences, at 9.30am.  The theatre Youth Show Coordinator Lisa Shattuck communicates with schools well in advance of the shows to arrange block bookings for the students.  Currently there are almost 400 tickets booked and about 100 tickets left.  Any pre-school or home school families interested in coming to the Mikado show please contact Lisa at youth@kahilutheatre.org.

Wheel of Fortune Returns to the Big Island – Seeking Contestants

Wheel of Fortune, America’s #1 game show will celebrate its 32nd season with shows taped on Hawaii, the Big Island. Host Pat Sajak, co-host Vanna White, and the entire Los Angeles-based crew will set up shop at the Hilton Waikoloa Village in September to tape four weeks of shows.

Pat and Vanna will be back on the Big Island soon.

Pat and Vanna will be back on the Big Island soon.

Marking the fifth time Wheel of Fortune has taped in Hawaii since 1996, the production will ship 37 trailers and containers with 1.8 million pounds of equipment. More than 225 staff and crew will be on hand to produce 20 episodes and share the beauty of Hawaii with the show’s 25 million weekly viewers.

“We have taped Wheel of Fortune on location 65 times,” said Executive Producer Harry Friedman. “But no destination creates a greater sense of excitement than Hawaii. The scenery, the hospitality and the warmth of the Aloha spirit simply can’t be found anywhere else.”

Contestant auditions will be held on Hawaii, the Big Island in late May; and on Oahu in late June for individuals (18+), and married couples, as well as best friends who are not related. Tune into KHON2 or log on to www.khon2.com to find out how to audition and for audience ticket information.

Click here to apply to be on the show: Hawaii Contestant Search

Miloli’i Community to Participate in Merrie Monarch Festivals

Pa’a Pono Miloliʻi through the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Native Hawaiian Culture Grant is proud to support a group comprised of Miloliʻi and Kohala keiki, kumu and kupuna that are perpetuating the cultural art of Hula through the inter-generational transfer of cultural knowledge.

Miloli'iLed by Kumu Hula Kuwalu Anakalea, a graduate of Kumu Hula Taupori Tangaro and project coordinator Kuakahi Kaupu-Cabuag, Miloliʻi has been requested by Kumu Hula Tangaro to participate in the opening of the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival this Sunday at the Afook Chinen Civic Auditorium. This ceremony is the blessing of all Merrie Monarch Festival events to follow throughout the week. Kumu Tangaro has loosely adopted Miloliʻi and given them the name UNU KOʻA. UNU is the root of the name of all Kumu Tangaroʻs cohorts and KOʻA is the fish aggregation site, prominent in Miloliiʻs rich ʻŌpelu nearshore fishery.

The Milohala group has participated in four hula enrichment camps this past year, three in Miloli’i and one at Ho’oku’ikahi Festival at Pu’ukohola Heiau. Milohala was responsible for greeting Hokule’a on her island-wide community voyage this past year. Miloli’i was Hokulea’s first stop. This performance will be a milestone in Miloliiʻs history. Miloliʻi has never participated in any Merrie Monarch Festival events and has never been deeply connected to a prominent Halau lineage of Hawaiʻi Island.

miloli'i2Pa’a Pono Miloli’i through the Office of Hawaiian Affairs has supported Milohala’s recent activities in preparation for this performance. PPM has provided 3 enrichment-training sessions for Milohala MM participants. PPM has provided all costuming for the performance. Milohala has been in accelerated training mode for the past month. Haumana have learned over 20 hula, oli and mo’olelo.

Although Milohala has only a 5-6 minute spot on the stage, it will be a lifetime of memories for many. This jouney for Miloli’i has been as short as one year and Miloli’i has already secured a spot in the opening ceremony of Merrie Monarch. Miloli’i is re-establishing the cultural richness that its kupuna once hoped to bestow upon the generations to follow and Paʻa Pono Miloliʻi is proud to be a part of this significant event for our community.

After Dark in the Park – May Events

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park continues its tradition of sharing Hawaiian culture and After Dark in the Park programs with the community and visitors in May. All programs are free, but park entrance fees apply. Programs are co-sponsored by the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association.  Mark the calendar for these upcoming events:

NEW! Artist-in-Residence Program. In conjunction with the non-profit National Parks Arts Foundation, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will launch its first Artist-in-Residence program, continuing the legacy of the famous volcano-inspired artists. The debut artist will be Master of Hawaiian featherwork, Rick Makanaaloha Kia‘imeaokekanaka San Nicolas. Rick will provide a public exhibit and lecture about his artwork, his inspiration from Hawai‘i’s sacred volcanoes, and the history and culture of Hawai‘i. His work is currently on exhibit at the Volcano House, and will soon be in Honolulu at the Bishop Museum. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free, and your $2 donation helps support After Dark programs.
When: Tues., May 6, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

The 1924

The 1924 eruption of Kilauea. NPS Photo

The 1924 Explosive Eruption of Kīlauea. The May 1924 eruption from Halema‘uma‘u Crater caused community turmoil and one death. Yet of all the known explosive eruptions of Kīlauea before 1924, it was the smallest—the runt of the litter. This small eruption and its magnified impact illustrate the interplay between hazard (what the volcano provides) and risk (the impact of the hazard on us).  On the 90th anniversary of the eruption, HVO geologist Don Swanson and volunteer Ben Gaddis address what happened in 1924, what caused the explosive eruption, and how it stacks up against the much larger eruptions of the past and, probably, the future. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free, and your $2 donation helps support After Dark programs.
When: Tues., May 13, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Tī Leaf Kūpe‘e Demonstration. Teana Kahoohanohano shares her knowledge and love of hula adornments. Learn how tī leaves are used to create stunning wristlets and anklets worn for certain hula dances. Watch as a simple leave is transformed into a work of art before your eyes. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.
When: Wed., May 14 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

After Dark in the Park Goes to the Movies. Sam Low presents his classic seafaring film, The Navigators: Pathfinders of the Pacific. Anthropologist and filmmaker Sam Low tells the real story of how a thousand years before Europeans knew the Pacific existed, Polynesian seafarers explored and settled this vast ocean using only natural signs to guide them. It’s one of the most amazing stories of human exploration and settlement, and it’s never been properly told. Shot on location in Huahine, Fiji, Satawai and other locations, the 1983 documentary features traditional Satawalese nagivator Mau Piailug, the sailing vessel Hokule‘a, and her crew. Low will be in attendance to answer questions and sign his new book, Hawaiki Rising – Hokule‘a, Nainoa Thompson and the Hawaiian Renaissance. Both the book and the DVD will be available for sale through the Hawaii Pacific Parks Association bookstore the evening of the program. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free, and your $2 donation helps support After Dark programs.
When: Tues., May 20 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Mark Yamanaka

Mark Yamanaka

Mark Yamanaka in Concert. Come enjoy free island music with Hilo’s own Mark Yamanaka, a four-time Nā Hōkū Hanohano award-winning singer and songwriter. Mark will share original songs from his debut CD, Lei Pua Kenikeni. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing Nā Leo Manu “Heavenly Voices” presentations. Free.
When: Wed., May 21 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Ka‘ū ‘Ohana Day. Calling keiki of all ages to join park rangers and take a closer look at the park’s Kahuku Unit for a day of activities. Connect the culture, people and the ‘āina (land) through mo‘olelo (stories), GPS, and compass. A free lunch will be provided when you sign up by calling (808) 985-6019. Deadline to register is May 16. Sponsored by the park, Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association, and the Queen Liliuokalani Children’s Center. Free.
When: Sat., May 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Kahuku Unit, at mile marker 70.5 in Ka‘ū on the mauka side of Highway 11

Ohe Kapela

‘Ohe Kapela

‘Ohe Kapala Demonstration. ‘Ohe kapala, or bamboo stamps, were utilized to present many unique designs for traditional Hawaiian kapa.  Today, these exceptional designs are being used as patterns on all types of fabric. Join Park Ranger Koa Johnasen as he demonstrates how ‘ohe (bamboo) are carved into beautiful designs and how they are used. There will be samples and a hands-on opportunity to learn about this distinctive art form. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.
When: Wed., May 28 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Slew of Celebrities Headline Big Island Chocolate Festival

“Mr. Chocolate” Jacques Torres of New York City headlines a slew of chocolate and cacao celebrities appearing at this year’s Big Island Chocolate Festival gala. Time is 6-10 p.m., Saturday, May 3 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i. Adding to the star power is Yisa Var and the Girls Nite Out! band.

Chef Jacques Torres

Chef Jacques Torres

Also in the limelight are a host of chocolate savory and sweet culinary treats prepared by top Hawai’i chefs, chocolatiers and confectioners. Think Pork Mole with Tomatillo Salsa or Orange Ginger Chocolate Mac Nut Crunch Torte.

The 6-10 p.m. gala features the creation of a chocolate sculpture using 40 pounds of chocolate—bring your camera—chocolate body painting, fine wines, chocolate-infused beer and the debut of a tasty new Bacardi Mango Fusion cocktail.

Chocolate Festival

Back by popular demand, Chef Donald Wressell of Guittard chocolates returns to the festival to create a decadent, multi-colored sculpture. He recently made the news when he fashioned a massive chocolate cake to serve 15,000 revelers at the centennial celebration of Rodeo Drive. A Washington resident, Wressell was named Pastry Chef of the Year at the 2005 National Pastry Team Championships.

Food Network star Torres leads a stable of off-island chefs who will judge the evening’s culinary creations and also give pre-gala seminars May 2-3. Attendees can also vote for the People’s Choice Award from a host of categories including mouth-watering bonbons.

Torres, who became the youngest pastry chef to earn the prestigious Best Craftsman in France medal for pastry, is the first artisan chocolatier to make his own chocolate starting from cocoa beans. Joining him is celebrity judge Vincent Bourdin of Singapore, a regional chef at Valrhona Chocolate and president of the Asia Pacific Pastry Cup Board.  He is co-author of “Cooking with Chocolate,” which has been translated into five languages. Judging bean to bar “tastes” is cacao and chocolate tasting advisor Ed Seguine of Pennsylvania who has 30 years experience working with farmers and companies in developing cacaos.

Also serving as culinary station judges are Chef Heather Campbell of Kauai‘s St. Regis Resort Princeville and Chef Rhonda Ashton-Chavez of the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea.

Girl's Night Out

Girls Night Out!

Girls Nite Out! is a diverse dance band hailing from East Hawai‘i that performs rock, blues, disco, pop, R&B, Hawaiian and country music. Drummer Will Divine founded the group in 2000 with guitarist Wesley Matsuda and offers a variety of guitar, synth and keyboard sounds. The lead vocalist is local performer, actor and morning radio show personality Yisa Var. Adding to the vocal section is Sherry Fox, best known for her appearance on TV’s “Your Big Break,” and Jeff Enriques, who also plays bass.

Volcano Choy

Volcano Choy

Joining Girls Nite Out! is a talented horn section with Moon Brown on saxophone and Jr. Volcano Choy on trumpet. Choy has performed with the likes of Al Jarreau, George Benson and Nancy Wilson.

In addition, a silent auction benefits the $150,000 “Equip the Kitchen” campaign for the future Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and the Waldorf-inspired Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua. The third annual festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc.

Pre-sale gala tickets are $75 and $100 at the door. New this year is the VIP Fast Wine Pass with early event admission and personalized wine service. Seminar details and tickets for all activities are available online at www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com. Questions? Phone 808-324-6100.

Chocolate Fest

Also available is an inclusive Chocolate Lovers package that features a two-night’s stay at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, plus all festival activities at the ocean-side Four Diamond resort; contact info@BigIslandChocolateFestival.com. Attendees who want to stay at the resort during the festival can get a discounted room rate of $269 per night including daily breakfast for two and can book direct with the hotel at 808-885-2000 or 800-845-9905 and mention “Big Island Chocolate Festival.”

The Big Island Chocolate Festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc. Mahalo to sponsors and community supporters: The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, Guittard, DeZaan, Valrohna, PreGel, The Wave-92.1, Big Island Honda and Tire Center, Bacardi, Dolphin Journeys, Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, Cocoa Outlet, Callebaut Chocolate, Cacao Cusina, DHX, Gourmet Foods Hawaii, Johnson Brothers of Hawaii, Ke Ola magazine, Kona Brewing Company, Kona Natural Soap Company, Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory and West Hawaii Today.

The mission and goal of KCA is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawai‘i by presenting BICF as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. For information, visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

Taste of the Hawaiian Range Adds Extra Hour to Pig Out

Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range is Friday, Sept. 26 and expanding to offer three hours of tasting from 5-8 p.m. The 19th annual agricultural festival that showcases the use of pasture-raised, local beef sprawls both inside and out of the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

Doesn't this look good?

Doesn’t this look good?

“We want our guests to be able to enjoy a more leisurely experience and so added an extra hour,” says Jeri Moniz, event chairperson.  “The additional time will also give attendees more time to talk story with our local food producers and enjoy the exhibits.”

Tickets for Taste are $45 through Thursday, Sept. 25 and $60 on event day. They will be sold online and at a dozen islandwide locations starting July 1. They will also be available at the door.

Thirty of the state’s top chefs have already confirmed their participation to prepare delectable dishes using pasture-raised beef, pork, lamb, goat, mutton and wild boar—plus a cornucopia of fresh island fruit, veggies, honey, spices and beverages.

Culinary adventure seekers can taste and enjoy all the cuts of pasture-raised beef—everything from tongue to tail—prepared expertly by Hawai‘i chefs.  Enjoy familiar cuts like sirloin tip and ribs, plus beef cheek and the infamous “rocky mountain oysters” or bull testicles.

While “tasting,” attendees can meet Hawai‘i’s food producers at booths and talk story with the ranchers and farmers who make a living growing our food. They can also enjoy exhibits presenting topics related to local agriculture and healthy foods, including the University of Hawai’i’s Mealani Research Station.

Watch for ticket giveaways on Facebook at Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Twitter #TasteHI. For general event information, phone (808) 969-8228.

Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication or a modification of policies and procedures to participate in this event should contact Jeri Moniz at 808-960-8411 no later than August 26.

Hawai’i residents can take advantage of Hilton Waikoloa Village’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range Package—details are being finalized. Phone 808-886-1234 or visit Hilton.com.

Big Island Senators Welcome Public to Art at the Capitol

Big Island Senators Gilbert Kahele, Josh Green, Russell Ruderman and Malama Solomon opened their doors for an evening at the capitol “museum” during the 6th Annual Art At The Capitol event on Friday, April 4 from 4:30 – 7 p.m. Each senator brings a distinct perspective to the décor of their offices through the personalization of their walls according to interest and taste. The works of art are placed in public areas of the Capitol as part of the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts’ “Art in Public Places” program, which was established in 1967, and was the first program of its kind in the nation.

Senator Gilbert Kahele, his nine-year-old grandson Maka'i Okalani Snyder and Senate Sergeant at Arms Ben Villaflor enjoy music by the Hawaii Youth Symphony during the 6th Annual Art at the Capitol, featuring chandeliers hanging in the House and the Senate. The House Sun and the Senate Moon were done by kinetic sculptor Otto Piene.   Photo courtesy of the Senate Communications Office.

Senator Gilbert Kahele, his nine-year-old grandson Maka’i Okalani Snyder and Senate Sergeant at Arms Ben Villaflor enjoy music by the Hawaii Youth Symphony during the 6th Annual Art at the Capitol, featuring chandeliers hanging in the House and the Senate. The House Sun and the Senate Moon were done by kinetic sculptor Otto Piene. Photos courtesy of the Senate Communications Office.

More than 500 residents and visitors toured the capitol taking in all the art on display.

In Kahele’s office attendees viewed a 1972 oil painting depicting Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole by artist Patric Bauernschmidt, who is internationally recognized for her portraits of historical people. Bauernschmidt was the first artist to paint a complete set of works of Hawaiian royalty in a single style.

Kahele Office Art

“This is an elaborate piece representing Prince Kuhio, and it reminds me of my lineage and the history of our island state,” said Kahele.

Solomon’s latest acquisition is a work of art by Honolulu resident Alison Manaut called “Nonolo,” an acrylic painting completed in 1975.

Nonolo

“This piece talks about involving each person as an observer,” said Malama. “Each person will probably have a unique perspective on what it means to them. I wanted this piece in the office because it reminds me of how we legislate and create policy. We have to be creative and solve many complex problems by taking in all kinds of perspectives to come up with a creative solution.”

In Ruderman’s office is a gorgeous photograph called “Volcano House Fireplace,” an image of the lava ocean entry superimposed beneath a carving of the Pele, which is located above the fireplace in Volcano House on Hawaii Island.  The shot was an in-camera double exposure made in 1991.

Ruderman Art

“We are honored to display art from the State Foundation of Culture and the Arts,” Ruderman said.   “Paul Buklarewicz is a resident of Volcano and he is a talented photographer. The Volcano House Fireplace allows our office in Honolulu to have a piece of Hawaii Island with us every day.”

A stunning sand-blasted hand blown glass with gold lead is displayed in Green’s office. It’s called “The Sea Before Me” and was done in 1998 by Wilfred Yamazawa, who keeps an active hot glass sculpture studio in Kealakekua, where he was born.“The Sea Before Me” refers to the nurturing ocean that surrounds the Hawaiian Islands. For Yamazawa, the sea personifies the life blood that defines us because man and nature are bound by the sea – the three are inseparable.

Green Art

“This piece of art specifically reminds me of the richness and beauty that Hawaii has to offer,” said Green. “We’re humbled to have so many unique artwork from talented artists line our capitol walls and shelves.”

Go Wild for Culture During National Park Week at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park

The National Park Service, in partnership with the National Park Foundation, will celebrate National Park Week April 19-27 with a free-admission weekend and special events nationwide.

The theme for this year’s National Park Week invites visitors to Go Wild! for history, nature, culture, wildlife, and fun in America’s national parks. At Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, the timing is perfect for visitors to “Go Wild for Culture” while celebrating Hilo’s 51st annual Merrie Monarch Festival, the most revered hula competition in the world.
Lei ‘a‘ali‘i: NPS Photo/Jay Robinson

Lei ‘a‘ali‘i: NPS Photo/Jay Robinson

 Admission to all fee-charging national parks is free from Saturday, April 19 through Sunday, April 20 to kick off National Park Week. Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will offer 12 Hawaiian cultural events planned April 23-25; these events are free but admission fees apply. All programs are part the park’s ongoing ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” cultural workshops, and are co-sponsored by the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association:
Wednesday, April 23
 
Kalo Demonstration. Join Edna and Sam Baldado as they share the cultural uses of kalo, or taro plant. See how each plant is identified by its leaf, steam, corm, color, and shape. Discover the hundreds of varieties of kalo in Hawaii, and how kalo was used for food, medicine, glue, dyes, and much more.
When: Wed., April 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Feather Kāhili Workshop. Helene Hayselden will demonstrate the art of making a feather kāhili, a symbol of royalty. Watch or join in and make your kāhili to take home.
When: Wed., April 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Music by Rupert Tripp, Jr. Enjoy the beautiful music and voice of singer, songwriter, and multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award nominee, Rupert Tripp, Jr.
When: Wed., April 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Lā‘au Lapa‘au. Ka‘ohu Monfort shares her knowledge and love of the island’s native plants. Learn how her passion for plants and the Hawaiian culture are used to heal and nourish. See and touch a variety of medicinal plants, including kuku‘i, ‘ōlena, ha‘uowī, noni, kī, and guava.
When: Wed., April 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Thursday, April 24
Feather Work. Watch Vi Makuakāne demonstrate the intricate art of feather work. Thousands of feathers are sorted, graded, trimmed, and sewn to a base. The result is a beautiful lei hulu, or feather lei.
When: Thurs., April 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Kenneth Makuakāne. This multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano award-winning singer, songwriter, and producer will play original songs from his solo albums and compositions.
When: Thurs., April 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
‘Ohe Kapala. ‘Ohe kapala, or bamboo stamps, are used to create distinct designs for traditional Hawaiian kapa. Join Keiko Mercado as she demonstrates how ‘ohe (bamboo) are carved into beautiful designs and how they are used. There will be samples and a hands-on opportunity to learn this Hawaiian art form.
When: Thurs., April 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Lei Making. Patricia Ka‘ula will demonstrate different styles of lei making: hilo, haku, hili and Ku‘i. Lei is used for everything from blessing crops, adornments for hula dancers, healing and sacred rituals, to show royal status or rank, honor guests, as peace offerings, to celebrating a birth.
When: Thurs., April 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
 
Robert Cazimero Book Signing. Robert Cazimero, a highly regarded and respected kumu hula, will sign the latest edition of Men of Hula, which will be available for sale. This 2011 edition by award-winning author Benton Sen chronicles how the hula teacher and Nā Hālau Kamalei shattered the stereotypical image of hula (girls in grass skirts and coconut bras) by revitalizing the masculine aspects of the ancient dance.
When: Thurs., April 24 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center
Friday, April 25
Kapa Demonstration. Kapa maker Ku‘uleimomi Makuakāne-Salāve‘a shares the art of kapa making. See how the inner bark of the paper mulberry tree is beaten into cloth.
When: Fri., April 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Ulana Lauhala. Members of ‘Aha Pūhala o Puna perpetuate the ancient art of lauhala weaving. Observe this art form and learn to weave your own lauhala star from the leaves of the hala, or pandanus tree.
When: Fri., April 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Music by Lito Arkangel. Listen to music by Lito Arkangel, one of Hawai‘i Island’s most popular entertainers, as he plays his original compositions and Hawaiian favorites.
Lito Arkangel photo courtesy of Lito Arkangel and Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery

Lito Arkangel photo courtesy of Lito Arkangel and Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery

When: Fri., April 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
‘Ohe Hanu Iho Demo. Join National Park Service Master Volunteer Ed Shiinoki and Park Ranger Andrea Kaawaloa-Okita and create your own nose flute. Thin-walled Hawaiian bamboo was used to make a three-hole wind instrument called ‘ohe hano ihu or bamboo nose flute. Today, the supply of bamboo is very limited so Asian bamboo is used instead. Andrea and Ed will share the many uses of the bamboo, demonstrate how to make your own ‘ohe hano ihu, and teach you how to play it, too.
When: Fri., April 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
In addition to the cultural programs at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park during National Park Week , there are Stewardship at the Summit volunteer opportunities, Kahuku hikes, and After Dark in the Park programs. Check the park website for a complete schedule.

The Egg and I – Nake’u Awai’s Pre-Merrie Monarch Fundraiser

Springtime on Hawai‘i Island means Easter, Merrie Monarch, and Nake‘u Awai’s annual Fashion Show Fundraiser, happening Saturday, April 19, 2014 at the Kahilu Theatre. A benefit for the Theatre, the lively production features Awai’s iconic aloha designs, dozens and dozens of Easter Eggs, and beautiful songs that celebrate Waimea.

The Egg and I

Doors open at 11 a.m. to give guests a chance to shop for Awai’s signature aloha wear, rarely available away from his Honolulu studio. Handmade items by local crafters are also available for sale, as well as box lunches by Palani French Bakers to enjoy at tables on the lawn, before the show begins at 12:30 p.m.

A distinctive designer of island fashion for over thirty years, Nake‘u Awai is well-known for his unique prints and flattering silhouettes for every body size and shape. His annual spring productions have been described as part-Broadway, part runway—one-of-a-kind events that never fail to tell a story, using fashion, hula, history, music, both traditional and contemporary, and lots of surprises.

Models in Awai’s “company” include Pat Bergin, Kauanoe Chang, Sharon Goodman, Liana Aveiro, Aulii Kirsch, Margo Wray, Peter Souza, Wally Wong and other familiar faces. And, key performers from the community include John Wray, Alva Kamalani, Desiree Cruz, Everett Knowles and the Waimea Hawaiian Civic Club, who will present a medley of songs by Helen Desha Beamer.

“I always wanted to emphasize the music of Helen Desha Beamer, one of the Big Island’s best writers, who wrote the classic songs of Waimea,” said Awai. His production wraps the region’s paniolo heritage with songs from “Oklahoma,” with elements of spring, Easter stories like an island-style Peter Cottontail, and festive fashion for men and women. “We create the visual scene,” said Awai, “And the performers just happen to be wearing our fashions.”

In addition, Awai invites the community to enter a special Egg Decorating Contest, with prizes presented by the judges in several categories. There is no entry fee, and all are welcome to use their imagination.

Sweetest Egg – Big Island Candies
Best Waimea Egg – Native Books/ Na Mea Hawaii
Best Ka Lei Egg – Roen Hufford
Trippiest Egg – Nake‘u Awai (a “trippy” tee shirt, designed by Nake‘u )
Most Stylish Egg – Nake‘u Awai (a beautiful bear made from Nake‘u fabric in moire)

A very special and entertaining occasion on the Saturday before Easter, “The Egg and I” invites groups of friends join in, support the Theatre and celebrate Spring. Tickets $45 with box lunch, $30 show only. Please call 885-6868 or visit www.KahiluTheatre.org

Puna Picks Breadfruit for Community Based Economic Development

On Saturday, May 10, 2014 from 8:30 am – 12:00 pm the Breadfruit—From Tree to Table workshop will be held at Ho‘oulu Lāhui, the site of  Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School at Pū‘āla‘a, adjacent to the ‘Āhalanui County Park warm ponds in Puna. The workshop is $12 per person and advance registration online is required. The workshop will be followed by a luncheon featuring breadfruit prepared by Chef Casey Halpern from Café Pesto.

Auntie Shirley Kauhaihao of Ke‘ei, South Kona, will be demonstrating how to select and prepare ‘ulu fruit. (Photo by Craig Elevitch)

Auntie Shirley Kauhaihao of Ke‘ei, South Kona, will be demonstrating how to select and prepare ‘ulu fruit. (Photo by Craig Elevitch)

The half-day Breadfruit—From Tree to Table workshop will assist Hawai‘i’s breadfruit growers in supplying grocery stores, restaurants and farmers markets with high quality breadfruit, and help chefs become more familiar with breadfruit handling and preparation in the kitchen.

Backyard growers and home users of breadfruit will also find the workshop pertinent to home and community use of breadfruit.

Topics and speakers include:  “Tree to Table”—harvesting techniques, tricks and tools, and postharvest handling, presented by Ian Cole, Collection Manager, Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden. “Beyond Sticky”—preparing breadfruit for use in a variety of dishes or for storage, presented by Shirley Kauhaihao, Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu.  “Cultural Perspective” —Breadfruit and the cultural importance in Hawai‘i, presented by mahi‘ai and educator Nick Kala Francisco. “Some Like It Sweet”—making dishes from ripe breadfruit, presented by John Cadman, Pono Pies. “Going To Market”—marketing and value added products, presented by Craig Elevitch, Hawai‘i Homegrown Food Network and Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu project. Gourmet to Home Cooking—exploring favorite local recipes and new ways to cook with breadfruit, presented by Mariposa Blanco of Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School.

Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School is a Hawaiian values-based charter school that believes in creating economic opportunities for the community through the production of value-added products from breadfruit and other crops. ‘Ike ‘Āina—From the Seed to the Table is an agriculture and culinary arts program at the school that connects culture, agriculture and healthy eating. The Breadfruit—From Tree to Table workshop expands this mission further into the community, exposing the community to possible economic opportunities derived from the cultivation and preparation of breadfruit. During lunch, there will be a demonstration of how to make ‘ulu flour from breadfruit dried in the solar dehydrator. Breadfruit

Breadfruit—From Tree to Table is presented by Ho‘oulu Lāhui, Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School, and the Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu—Revitalizing Breadfruit project. The workshop is funded through a grant from the County of Hawai‘i, Department of Research and Development and with luncheon support from Café Pesto.

Advance registration is required. The workshop is $12 per person, and includes lunch.  To register please visit www.breadfruit.info or call 990-4243.

Hawaii Life Picked Up for Two More Seasons – Opens Hilo Office

Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers recently expanded their Big Island operations with the opening of their new Hilo office.

Hawaii Life Real Estate Companies Hilo Location

Hawaii Life Real Estate Companies Hilo Location

Nearly 200 people attended the grand opening ceremony held March 28 at the firm’s new East Hawaii location at 500 Kalanianaole Ave. in Keaukaha. The newly renovated office encompasses 3,078 square feet.

According to Hawaii Life President and Principal Broker Matt Beall, “Hawaii Life is really honored to be so well-received in Hilo. We’re committed to serving all of Hawaii, and East Hawaii is such an important part of that commitment. It’s really a special community.”

The Hilo location marks the third office on Hawaii Island for the fast-growing real estate firm, which also has offices in Kailua-Kona and Puako. Of the firm’s 65 agents island-wide, 17 will work out of the new Hilo office.

In February the firm announced the expansion of its headquarters in Princeville, Kauai and last week announced plans to open a second office in Wailea, Maui.

With 187 agents statewide and 10 offices statewide, Hawaii Life has grown steadily since it was founded in 2008. In 2012 it was ranked the third-fastest growing company in the state according to Pacific Business News’ Fastest 50 list.

Hawaii Life is featured on the cable network HGTV with a show by the same name. The show, which follows different brokers as they help clients find their perfect home in Hawaii, was recently picked up for two more seasons.

For more information on Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers or its new Hilo office, contact Katie Minkus, Statewide Director of Sales, 1-800-667-5028, or email katieminkus@hawaiilife.com.

Kailua Kanikapila Community Picnic with Darlene Ahuna and John Cruz

It’s time to bring the community back Hawaiian style to Hale Halawai with a Kailua Kanikapila Community Picnic and it’s free.

Relax. Kick back. Bring your own chairs and mats. Enjoy the sunset. Pack a picnic and bring the whole family down to Hale Halawai from 4 pm until sunset on Saturday, April 19.

Enjoying myself with John Cruz jamming in the back

Enjoying myself with John Cruz jamming in the back

Bring your pupus and enjoy a picnic along the ocean while listening to the great Hawaiian music sounds of Darlene Ahuna and John Cruz. There will be games for the keiki and a taco truck available for those who prefer to purchase food.

Hilo’s Darlene Ahuna is a multiple Na Hoku Hanohano award winner including Female Vocalist of the Year. John Cruz’s Artistic Soul album won Contemporary Album of the Year and Cruz was named Most Promising Artist. Cruz is also a Grammy winner with his song Jo Bo’s Night featured on CD Slack Key Guitar Volume 2, the first Grammy awarded for Hawaiian music.

The Kailua Kanikapila Community Picnic event is sponsored by the Kailua Village Business Improvement District, Hawaii Tourism Authority, and the County of Hawaii. Contact HKVevents@yahoo.com a minimum of 5 days in advance to request an auxiliary aid or reasonable modification.

2014 Ka’u Coffee Festival Offering New Activities to its Lineup

The Ka‘u Coffee Festival offers new fun activities to its lineup of May 2-11. Now in its sixth year, the festival showcases its award-winning coffees and everything that makes the sprawling K‘au District so special—the rural area covers 922 square miles and encompasses the entire southern end of the Big Island.

2014 Kau CoffeefestKicking off the festival is the inaugural Pa‘ina & OpenHouse at historic Pahala Plantation House with the Ka‘u Chamber of Commerce and Ka‘u Calendar newspaper. Pa‘ina means party in Hawaiian and fun includes guided house tours, music, hula by Halau Hula O Leionalani and refreshments—including Ka‘u coffee. Bolo will also release his new CD that contains the song “Kaiholena,” that tells about the people and places of K‘au.

During the heyday of Big Isle sugar production, Pahala Plantation House served as the manager’s home of the former Ka‘u Sugar Plantation. Now an inn and community gathering place, the House has been painstakingly restored to maintain the integrity and history of Hawai‘i’s sugar era. Enjoy guided tours of the spacious interior that boasts high ceilings, a large dining hall, antiques, artwork and a baby grand piano in the foyer. Time is 5:30-9 p.m. Friday, May 2 at the corner of Maile and Pikake Streets in Pahala. Admission is free and donations are appreciated for the Miss Ka‘u Coffee Scholarship Fund, 808-928-9811.

The annual Miss K‘au Coffee Pageant is part of a festival doubleheader with the Triple C Recipe Contest on Sunday, May 2 at the Ka‘u Coffee Mill. Starting at noon, the Triple C Recipe Contest offers a new cake competition category, along with cookies and candy—all must contain K‘au coffee. Contestants vie for free in either adult amateur or student (middle or high school) divisions to win cash prizes. Contest entry deadline is April 25.  Public admission is free with complimentary coffee and recipe sampling. Find contest details at www.kaucoffeemill.com.

On Sunday evening, the 2014-15 Miss Ka‘u Coffee and junior Miss Ka‘u Peaberry Pageant is open to contestants who were either born, grew up or now live in Ka‘u. Girls are judged for talent, public speaking, gown and Miss Popularity. Winners are awarded scholarships. A mahalo party for the reigning queens is 6 p.m., followed by the pageant at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $10 with additional donations appreciated.

The annual Coffee & Cattle Day 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday, May 9 showcases Ka‘u agriculture at the 150-acre Aikane Plantation with a tour of a working ranch/farm, followed by a luncheon buffet.  Co-owner Merle Becker says her great-grandfather, “Papa” J. C. Searle, planted coffee there in 1894 and keiki from Searle’s trees are grown today by numerous Ka‘u farmers. The Beckers oversee eight acres of coffee, a Black Angus cattle operation, plus plantings of exotic protea, sugar cane, macadamia nuts, citrus, avocado, taro, pineapple and papaya. The buffet will offer grass-fed beef, pork and chicken; a variety of side dishes and desserts made with Ka‘u coffee.  Price is $25, make reservations at 808-927-2252.

The all-day Ka‘u Coffee Festival Ho‘olaule‘a on Saturday, May 10 is free and features day-long entertainment. It hosts a variety of art, craft, information and food booths; and some of the finest coffees grown anywhere.

The Ka‘u Coffee Experience has a new twist with free coffee tastings guided by professional baristas at the Pahala Community Center. Coffee enthusiasts can sample Ka‘u coffees prepared in a variety of ways—like a pour-over or a French press, cold brew and espresso drinks.

The festival is supported by the County of Hawai‘i Department of Research & Development, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture. A full schedule of events and Ka‘u activity recommendations follows. Visit www.kaucoffeefest.com to learn more.

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Miss Saigon Opens at UH Hilo on Thursday

Miss Saigon, the award-winning musical about love and loss in the Vietnam War, opens at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Performing Arts Center Thursday, April 10 at 7:30 p.m. for a two-weekend run. Other show dates are April 11, 12, 17, 18 & 19 at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, April 13, at 2 pm.

Miss SaigonCreated by Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil in 1989 as a pop opera, Miss Saigon is directed by UH Hilo Performing Arts Department Professor Jackie Pualani Johnson with Armando Mendoza as Musical Director and faculty choreographer Celeste Staton. A cast of 37 performers bring to life the story of an American G.I. who falls in love with a Vietnamese girl just as Saigon is sieged by the North Vietnamese.

“This superb artistic team is joined by UH Hilo Performing Arts senior Katherine Wilson as vocal director and advanced student choreographers Kawehi Kanoho-Kalahiki and Kawai Soares, and assistant directors Kimo Apaka, a UH Hilo Performing Arts graduate, and Denyse Woo-Ockerman,” said PAC Manager Lee Dombroski.

The cast includes Norman Arancon as The Engineer, Rachel Edwards as Kim, Scott Wuscher as the American G.I., and the working girls of the Dreamland Bar: Gigi, Mimi, Yvette, and Yvonne, played by Lilinoe Kauahikaua, Angeline Jara, Bailey Woolridge, and Kawehi Kanoho-Kalahiki. Arancon is a faculty member at UH Hilo, and the women in the bar are created by UH Hilo students. Wuscher is a community member who returns to the UH Hilo stage to realize the turmoil of a soldier caught in the war’s emotional choices.

Tickets are reserved seating and priced at $20 General, $15 Discount and $10 UH Hilo/HawCC students (with a valid student ID) and children, up to age 17, and are available by calling the UH Hilo Box Office at 932-7490 or ordering online at artscenter.uhh.hawaii.edu.

Fun Seminars Announced for the Big Island Chocolate Festival

Taste the nuances of a variety of gourmet chocolates with one of the foremost chocolate experts in the world: Ed Seguine, a 45-year cacao veteran and consultant. Talk story with Food Network Star and New York City celeb Jacques Torres while savoring his delectable bonbons. Learn how to make a chocolate dessert sensation by Valrhona Pastry Chef Vincent Bourdin. Get the insider scoop on growing cacao—the bean needed to make chocolate.

Chef Jacques Torres

Chef Jacques Torres

All this and more— plus a festive evening gala are on tap May 1-3 for the Big Island Chocolate Festival. Tickets and details for all are available at www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association (KCA), event proceeds benefit the $150,000 “Equip the Kitchens” campaign for the future Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and efforts to build a community amphitheatre at the Waldorf-inspired Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua.

Here’s a quick rundown of activities:

Thursday, May 1

• 9-11 a.m.: On-site cacao farm and soap factory tour by Gary Colden to see how cacao is grown and used for chocolate. Kona Natural Soap Company uses the by-products of cacao to make soaps, $25.

All other activities at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i:

Friday, May 2

• 2:30-3:15 p.m. Ed Seguine of Seguine Cacao, Cocoa & Chocolate Advisors presents “Selecting Cacao Cultivar for Flavor.” Learn the segregation of agronomic and flavor traits in seed-grown cacao. Examples of breeding for flavor will be shown and tasting evaluated, plus techniques for small-scale micro-fermentation, $50.

• 3:30-4:30 p.m. “Mr. Chocolate” Jacques Torres offers an intimate talk story about the chocolate industry while sharing his award-winning chocolate bonbons brought in from New York City, $50.

Saturday, May 3

• 10-11 a.m. Ed Seguine of Seguine Cacao, Cocoa & Chocolate Advisors presents “How to Taste Chocolate” with a guided tasting of chocolate from Guittard, Valrhona and Waialua Estates, $30.

•11:15-12:15 p.m. Greg Colden of Kona Natural Soap Factory presents “Cacao as a Value Added Product for Business,” sharing non-chocolate uses for cacao, $30.

*12:30-1:30 p.m. President of the Asia Pacific Pastry Cup Board and Valrhona Chef Vincent Bourdin from Singapore shows how to make a standout chocolate dessert, $30.

Hands-on Culinary seminar at last year’s Big Island Chocolate Festival

Hands-on Culinary seminar at last year’s Big Island Chocolate Festival

Chocolate decadence culminates 6-10 p.m. May 3 with the festival gala in the Fairmont’s Grand Ballroom. Taste sweet and savory creations by chefs, chocolatiers, confectioners and beverage purveyors, plus vote for the People’s Choice Award. Also on tap will be fine wines and handcrafted ales, chocolate sculptures, chocolate body painting, music by Yisa Var and the Girls Nite Out band and friends, dancing and a silent auction.

Culinarians interested in participating can signup at www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

Pre-sale gala tickets are $75 and will be $100 at the door. New this year is the VIP Fast Wine Pass with early event admission and personalized wine service. Buy tickets and find event details online at www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com. Questions? Phone 808-324-6100.

Also available is an inclusive Chocolate Lovers package that includes a two-night’s stay at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, plus all festival activities at the ocean-side Four Diamond resort; contact info@BigIslandChocolateFestival.com. Attendees who want to stay at the resort during the festival can get a discounted room rate of $269 per night including daily breakfast for two and can book direct with the hotel at 808-885-2000 or 800-845-9905 and mention “Big Island Chocolate Festival.”

The Big Island Chocolate Festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc. Mahalo to sponsors and community supporters: The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, Guittard, DeZaan, Valrohna, PreGel, The Wave-92.1, Big Island Honda and Tire Center, Bacardi, Dolphin Journeys, Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, Cocoa Outlet, Callebaut Chocolate, Cacao Cusina, DHX, Gourmet Foods Hawaii, Johnson Brothers of Hawaii, Ke Ola magazine, Kona Brewing Company, Kona Natural Soap Company, Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory and West Hawaii Today.

The mission and goal of KCA is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawai‘i by presenting BICF as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. For information, visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

Official Selections: Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i

Now in its 9th year, the Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i (BIFF) has announced its 48 Official Selections, to be screened May 22-26, 2014. The “talk story” film festival is a celebration of narrative films and filmmaking, with free family films at The Shops at Mauna Lani, daytime movies and nightly double features for grown-ups with no-host bar and pupus, plus “meet-the-stars” celebrity social events and more at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i.

BIFF Logo

On Thursday, May 22 at 7:30 p.m., BIFF’s Grand Opening at The Shops at Mauna Lani will include a free sampler of short films, and a chance to welcome filmmakers to the Island.  Celebrity guests Portia Doubleday (“Her,” “Carrie” and “Youth in Revolt”) and Jackson Rathbone (“Jasper” in the “Twilight” series) will appear in person, to give fans a chance to show their aloha.

BIFF at Mauna LaniBy special arrangement with Warner Brothers, “Sophia Grace and Rosie’s Royal Adventure” will be presented at The Shops at Mauna Lani Center Stage at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 23. The brand-new film stars British cousins, Sophia Grace Brownlee and Rosie McClelland, Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award Winners and frequent guests of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. In the movie, to be released May 20 on DVD, the girls are Ellen’s special correspondents, sent to cover the coronation of a new queen.

Sofia Grace

Other notable BIFF Official Selections include the time-travel mystery-thriller “Time Lapse,” the intense and intimate portrait of homelessness, “3:13,” drama “Pretty Rosebud,” about an ambitious career woman whose unorthodox choices unravel her carefully constructed world, and comedy “Welcome to the Lucky Country” a laughable look at an Australian reality show.

Screenshot from "The Haumana"

Screenshot from “The Haumana”

Contenders from Hawai‘i include Keo Woolford’s acclaimed “The Haumana,” which chronicles the journey of a new Kumu Hula and his high school men’s hālau, with choreography by Robert Cazimero, Lanakila Casupang, Maelia Loebenstein-Carter and Kaipo Hale.  From the Big Island, “Bullitt and the Curse of the Blood Ring” is the next chapter of the continuing island action-adventure,  produced, acted, and directed by Kona filmmakers Richard Gonzalez and Rockwood.

The Official Selections for BIFF 2014 are:

  • 3:13
  • BULLITT and the Curse of the Blood Ring
  • Butterfly Dreams
  • Courting Chaos
  • Day For Night
  • Druid Peak
  • Great
  • Helen Alone
  • Horse for Sale
  • If We Were Adults
  • Light Me Up
  • Limit
  • Little Girl’s War Cry
  • Lost Island of the Firewalkers
  • Makua Charley
  • Meet Anna
  • Mirror
  • Missing Child
  • No More Aloha
  • One Weekend
  • Poison Apple
  • Posey
  • Pretty Rosebud
  • Prinsesa
  • Ravi & Jane
  • Rise Again
  • Rose, Mary and Time
  • Shadow
  • Sheltered Love
  • Solace
  • Sophia Grace and Rosie’s Royal Adventure
  • Suka
  • Suriname Gold
  • Take a Deep Breath
  • The Bathroom Attendant
  • The End
  • The Haumana
  • The Haunting of Heather
  • The Honey Maple Morgan
  • The Maury Island Incident
  • The New Neighbors
  • The Pimp & The Rose
  • Time Lapse
  • Tuesday Morning
  • We Are Enemies
  • Welcome to the Lucky Country
  • Wolf Summer
  • Zone 7

A limited number of ballots will be given to audience members during each screening.  Votes are tallied at the end of the festival, to determine the Audience-choice Feature and Short to be screened at Best of the Fest on Monday, May 26.  Best of the Fest also includes a silent auction to benefit Fisher House at Tripler Army Medical Center, and exciting concert by award-winning Hawaiian musical artist WILLIE K.

The Big Island “Talk Story” Film Festival is a celebration of independent narrative films and filmmaking, taking place May 22-26. Major sponsors include The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i and The Shops at Mauna Lani and Hawai‘i Tourism Authority/Hawai‘i County CPEP. For complete schedule information and tickets, visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com.