Big Island Arts & Culture

Hilo town is also home to an array of museums, galleries, and performance venues where you can admire the work of local painters, sculptors, musicians, storytellers, and crafts people.

The Merrie Monarch Festival that honors the legacy left by King David Kalākaua, who inspired the perpetuation of our traditions, native language and arts (follows Easter Sunday in March - April) is the world’s premier acclaimed hula competition, an invitational Hawaiian arts fair, hula shows, and a grand parade through Hilo town. This week long celebration of the native art of the hula happens every Easter with halau (hula schools) from every island and the mainland practicing year-round for the event. This moving expression of music, dance and storytelling is part of how the people of Hawaii Island continue to perpetuate and interpret the Hawaiian culture and its uniquely affirmative spirit of aloha.

The Merrie Monarch Festival is just one example of how the people of Hawaii Island locals live comfortably in the present but with great respect for the past. The mana (spiritual power) is still strong at important historical places like Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park and Puukohola Heiau Historic Site.

The performances are free to the public, no tickets are required - however tickets are needed to attend the three-day hula competition and can be obtain through mailing request. The Edith Kanakaole Stadium is the site of the competitions.

Contact:
Merrie Monarch Festival Office
Phone: 808-935-9168
Website: www.merriemonarch.com

Map of Hawaii Big Island

Explore Big Island by region: HiloHamakua CoastNorth KohalaKohala CoastKonaPunaKau.

Download Tour Map of Hawaii (Big Island)

Island Highlights

- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: Home to Kilauea Volcano, one of the world’s most active volcanoes.
- Historic Kailua Village (Kailua-Kona): Lively, historic gathering place in the heart of Kona.
- Hilo: Home to botanical gardens, waterfalls and off-the-beaten-path local shops and restaurants.
- Waimea: Experience the cool uplands of paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) country.
- Holualoa: Visit coffee country and taste why 100% Kona coffee is so famous.


Popular Big Island Activities

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Big Island Adventure Tours

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A member of Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau and the Hawaii Tourism Authority.  

 Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau

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Island Guides: Tips & Fun Things To Do