Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park’s 31st Annual Cultural Festival Coming Up

Media Release:

The 31st annual Cultural Festival will happen Sat., July 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park’s Kahuku Unit, in the Ka‘ū District. The event is free and is a wonderful way to celebrate Hawaiian culture with top Hawaiian entertainment, hands-on cultural demonstrations, local food, crafts and much more.

Ohe Hano Ihu demo

The Kahuku unit is located south of the main entrance to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on the mauka side of Hwy. 11, between mile markers 70 and 71. There is no admission fee at Kahuku or the main park on July 9, in honor of this popular annual festival.

“Join us at Kahuku, a dynamic, young volcanic landscape, steeped in history and a rainbow of land and life. This festival is our gift to the local communities that support Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and its programs, and to our visitors, so we can share the culture and aloha of our island and this special place,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando.

The festival’s theme, He ali‘i ka ‘āina. He kauwā ke kanaka (The land is the chief. Man is its servant) is visualized in artist Dietrich Varez’s rendering of the ‘ua‘u, the endemic Hawaiian petrel.

This year’s theme, He ali‘i ka ‘āina. He kauwā ke kanaka (The land is the chief. Man is its servant) is visualized in artist Dietrich Varez’s rendering of the ‘ua‘u, the endemic Hawaiian petrel. This endangered Hawaiian seabird nests in the subalpine region of Mauna Loa, where Park resource managers monitor their habitat in hopes of increasing the small population within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park’s Kahuku Unit.

Varez’s artwork on festival T-shirts this year depicts the ‘ua‘u and its compelling lifecycle, including a lone chick in a pāhoehoe pit nest awaiting its parents’ arrival, a pair of soaring ‘ua‘u, the marine life they feed upon, the pūkiawe shrub (which grows in the area), and an active volcano. T-shirts will be available for sale at the festival.

Kenneth Makuakane demonstrates ukulele basics

Hawaiian entertainment will include hula performances by Hālau Ulumamo o Hilo Palikū and Haunani’s Hula Expressions, and notable Hawaiian musicians Joseph Nahale, Kenneth Makuakāne, falsetto singer Kai Ho‘opi‘i, and Aunty Diana Aki and friends.

Learning to make lauhala bracelets

Learn how Hawaiians lived, played and created, and use those skills today, through numerous cultural demonstrations by skilled Hawaiian practitioners. Lei making (feather and plant), Hawaiian canoe building, ‘ukulele lessons, ulana lauhala (pandanus weaving), nā pā‘ani (Hawaiian games), nā mea mala (native plant gardening), and lā‘au lapa‘au (how to identify and use local medicinal plants), are just a few of the interactive demonstrations participants can learn about.

Wear sunscreen and a hat. Bring water, rain jacket, and ground mat or chair. No pets.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park was established on Aug. 1, 1916 as a public park for the enjoyment of the people. An important purpose of the 333,086-acre park is to perpetuate Hawaiian culture. Since 1980, the park’s annual cultural festival has provided an ideal occasion for young and old, for kama‘āina (native born) and malihini (newcomers), to come together for a fun and exciting day of sharing of traditional customs and values.

Co-sponsored by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, Hawai‘i Natural History Association, Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and Kīlauea Military Camp.