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April After Dark in the Park & Hawaiian Cultural Events at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park continues its tradition of sharing Hawaiian culture and After Dark in the Park (ADIP) programs with the public throughout 2017. Two consecutive fee-free weekends celebrate National Park Week in April, and many programs honor the 54th anniversary of the Merrie Monarch Festival.

ADIP and Hawaiian cultural programs are free, but entrance fees apply except for the fee-free weekends and Kahuku events. Programs are co-sponsored by Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association. Mark the calendar for these upcoming events:

Endangered Marine Wildlife: Threats & Mitigation Measures. What do monk seals, green sea turtles, hawksbill sea turtles and false killer whales have in common?

Honu & monk seal courtesy of the Marine Wildlife Program

They are all endangered marine wildlife found in waters around the island of Hawai‘i. Susannah Welch of the Marine Wildlife Program shares innovative ways to protect species, including the promotion of barbless hooks and their usefulness is sustaining the fisheries of Hawai‘i. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.

  • When: Tues., April 4 at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Hei Demonstration. Hei are traditional Hawaiian string figures, and are used with oli (chants) to tell stories and connect with the elements around us.

Hei string figure, NPS Photo

No‘el Tagab-Cruz teaches the protocol and meaning behind this intriguing practice. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.

  • When: Wed., April 12 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

National Park Week Fee-Free Weekends. Come celebrate “America’s Best Idea” and explore your national parks for free, two weekends in a row!

  • When: April 15 & 16, and again April 22 & 23
  • Where: All fee-charging national parks are free, including Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park,  Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park in Kona, and Haleakalā National Park on Maui.

Kahuku ‘Ohana Day. Keiki 17 and younger and their families are invited to explore Pu‘u o Lokuana Trail in the park’s Kahuku Unit, and practice their Global Positioning System (GPS) skills. Darlyne Vierra will share Kahuku’s compelling paniolo history as well. Call (808) 985-6019 to register by April 7. Bring lunch, snacks, water, light raingear, a re-usable water bottle, sunscreen, hat, long pants and shoes. Sponsored by the park and the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association. Enter the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on the mauka (inland) side of Highway 11 near mile marker 70.5, and meet near the parking area. Free.

  • When: Sat., April 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Where: Kahuku Unit

Celebrate World Heritage Day with a Wilderness Hike. Hawai‘i Volcanoes was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 for its outstanding natural values, and to commemorate World Heritage Day this month, join a ranger-guided hike into the Kīlauea Volcano’s East Rift Zone wilderness. This challenging 14-mile, seven-hour, round-trip interpretive trek includes Makaopuhi Crater; the 1965 and 1969 lava flows; a centuries-old archeological site, the hapu‘u pulu (fern) processing area; and Nāpau Crater. For more information, call (808) 985-6017. Hikers must bring four liters of water per person, lunch and snacks, sturdy closed-toe shoes or boots, long pants, sunscreen, hat and raingear. Free.

  • When: Sat., April 15 at 9 a.m. A fee-free weekend!
  • Where: Meet ranger at the Mauna Ulu Parking Lot, off Chain of Craters Road

Tuesday’s Special Merrie Monarch Festival Events. Join us as we celebrate and honor the 54th Merrie Monarch Festival, the annual hula competition of Hilo.

Ulana Niu, NPS Photo

Practitioners on Tuesday will share lau hala (weaving of the pandanus leaf), lomilomi (traditional Hawaiian massage), hū kukui (Hawaiian spinning top game), and ulana niu (coconut leaf weaving). Falsetto singer Kai Ho‘opi‘i performs. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.

  • When: Tues., April 18 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

The Value of Plantation-Era Archives in Today’s World. From the 1850s to the 1990s, big sugar plantations dominated the agricultural landscape of Hawai‘i Island. The Edmund Olson Trust Archive is home to an amazing array of maps, records, and documents from these plantations, and traces an important part of island history. John Cross of the Olson Trust will lead a visual journey through these irreplaceable historic resources and the era that was “Big Sugar.” Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.

  • When: Tues., April 18 at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Wednesday’s Special Merrie Monarch Festival Events. Join us as we celebrate and honor the 54th Merrie Monarch Festival, the annual hula competition of Hilo. Practitioners on Wednesday will share the arts of lei making (both the wili and hulu styles), pala‘ie (Hawaiian ball and hoop game), and kāpala mea ulu (Hawaiian plant stamping). The Young Brothers will perform local melodies. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.

  • When: Wed., April 19 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Kai Ho‘opi‘i in Concert. Enjoy an evening of Hawaiian music, and the leo nahenahe (sweet voice) of Kai Ho‘opi‘i, an Aloha Festival Hawaiian falsetto contest winner.

Kai Ho‘opi‘i, NPS Photo

Kai will share the traditions and music of his ‘ohana from Kahakuloa, Maui. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing Nā Leo Manu “Heavenly Voices” presentations. Free.

  • When: Wed., April 19 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Thursday’s Special Merrie Monarch Festival Events. Join us as we celebrate and honor the 54th Merrie Monarch Festival, the annual hula competition of Hilo.

Keiki ‘ohe kāpala, NPS Photo

Practitioners on Thursday will share the arts of lei making, haku hulu (Hawaiian featherwork), ‘ohe kāpala (bamboo stamping), and kuku kapa (making fabric from bark cloth). Multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano award-winning composer, singer and musician Kenneth Makuakāne will perform. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.

  • When: Thurs., April 20 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

National Park Rx Day. Join the growing movement to prescribe parks and nature for the improvement of our health. Our “prescriptions” include a morning yoga session with Danielle Makaike from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.; various presentations including lomilomi (Hawaiian massage), and kalo (taro) from 10 a.m. to noon; and a “Walk with a Doc” from noon to 1 p.m. with Dr. Craig Kadooka. Other presenters include Hilo Medical Center, HMSA Community Engagement, State of Hawai‘i Department of Health and Hui Mālama Ola Nā ‘Ōiwi.

  • When: Sun., April 23 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Kīlauea Volcano’s Summit Eruption: Nine Years and Counting. On March 19, 2008, a new volcanic vent opened in Halema‘uma‘u Crater at Kīlauea volcano’s summit. Nine years later, the eruption continues.

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory photo of Halema‘uma‘u

The vent has grown to a gaping crater that’s roughly 195 x 255 meters (about 640 x 840 feet) in size. A lava lake within the vent rises and falls, with spattering on the lake surface sometimes visible from the Jaggar Museum observation deck. USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist Matt Patrick presents an update and overview on the summit eruption, including stunning imagery. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.

  • When: Tues., April 25 at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Weave Ulana Niu (Coconut Fronds). Learn how to weave coconut fronds into useful and beautiful items. The coconut palm is one of the most useful and important plants in the world. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.

  • When: Wed., April 26 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Entrance Fees Waived at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park for National Park Week

Celebrate the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary – and the centennial of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park – during National Park Week, April 16-24. Entrance fees will be waived nine full days, and a “National Park Rx Day” will be held on Sunday, April 24.

Volcano at night

Visitors gather every night at the Jaggar Museum observation deck to witness the summit eruption of Kīlauea volcano from Halema‘uma‘u Crater. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is open 24 hours a day. NPS Photo/Michael Szoenyi

“There’s no better way to celebrate the centennial anniversaries of both Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and the National Park Service than by inviting our community and visitors to enjoy the park at no charge,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “Your park ‘ohana welcomes you to join us for a special program, reconnect with your favorite trail, or stay after dark to admire the splendor of glowing lava within Halema‘uma‘u Crater,” she said.

For Junior Ranger Day on Sat., April 16, keiki 17 and younger are invited to join park rangers in Kahuku for a fun day of discovery from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants will hike the historic lower Palm Trail, and learn to make traditional string figures called hei. Call (808) 985-6019 to register, limited to 25 participants.

On Wed., April 20 kupuna hula group Haunani’s Aloha Expressions will perform for free at the Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

On the last day of National Park Week, Sun., April 24, from 10 a.m. to noon, the park will host a “National Park Rx Day,” a community health initiative to “prescribe” time in parks to promote wellness. Join park rangers and Dr. Craig Kadooka on an easy one-mile roundtrip hike of upper ‘Iliahi Trail. Meet at Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai at 10 a.m. The first 200 walkers will receive a reusable water bottle and fresh fruit. Hawaiian practitioners Edna and Sam Baldado will demonstrate the heath benefits of kalo, and Ka‘ohu Monfort will share how Hawaiians use plants to heal and cure. HMSA will also provide a table with health information.

A hiker takes in the coastal views at ‘Āpua Point in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Photo courtesy of Jacob W. Frank. ​

A hiker takes in the coastal views at ‘Āpua Point in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Photo courtesy of Jacob W. Frank. ​

National Park Week event sponsors include Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ National Park, Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association, and Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park celebrates its 100th birthday in 2016. The park provides countless ways for visitors to connect with and appreciate Hawaiian culture, active volcanoes, and native plants and animals. It was designated as a World Heritage Site (1987) and an International Biosphere Reserve (1980).