The activity companies, shopping areas, museums and theaters on Hawaii, the Big Island, have lots of new and exciting things to offer visitors this month. In addition there are a number of special events that you should consider if you'll be on the island. One of the most exciting is the release of the special US quarter commemorating Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park which will take place on August 29 with a special ceremony at the park.
Body Glove Cruises
Body Glove Cruises has added a fourth day its popular Historical Sunset Dinner Cruise to Kealakekua Bay. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 4:00-7:00 p.m. this family-friendly adventure offers guests an enlightening narration from a local historian who reveals history and legends associated with the numerous landmarks along 12 miles of magnificent Kona coastline. This captivating journey back in time offers a complimentary cocktail, an all-you-can-eat Pacific Rim buffet, and live Hawaiian entertainment. Special dietary needs are no problem with 48 hours advance notice. For more information, visit their website.
Fair Wind Big Island Ocean Guides
Hawai'i Island's award-winning ocean activities company, Fair Wind Big Island Ocean Guides, has introduced Snuba to their lineup of ocean fun. Snuba, an underwater breathing system, requires no prior dive experience or certification. It is perfect for couples, families, children eight years and older and seniors, or anyone who wants to add to their Fair Wind adventure. Following a safety briefing with a skilled, certified Snuba guide, participants can dive two feet, ten feet, or twenty feet with a Snuba guide with them the entire time. Snuba is available aboard Fair Wind II Cruises to Kealakekua Bay. Cost is $69 per person. For more information, visit their website. Read our review of Fair Wind Big Island Ocean Guides
'Imiloa Astronomy Center
Visitors to 'Imiloa Astronomy Center can experience the world's first 3D planetarium in its "Skies Above Hawai'i" live 3D program, showing Tuesdays through Sundays at noon. "Fly out" from Earth as the planetarium operator guides the audience through various regions and structures of the Universe, based on data from the telescopes located on Maunakea. Visitors to the center can enjoy other planetarium selections as well: the 1:00 p.m. showing of "Maunakea: Between Earth and Sky," the 2:00 p.m. showing of "Awesome Light II: Seeing the Invisible," and thr 3:00 p.m. showing of "Two Small Pieces of Glass." For more information, call (808) 969-9703 or visit their website. Read our profile of 'Imiloa Astronomy Center.
Kings' Shops at Waikoloa Beach Resort
Kings' Shops at Waikoloa Beach Resort has announced a new series of evening events, "Arts Under the Stars," starting August 11. A benefit for Kahilu Theatre, "Arts Under the Stars" will continue on the second Saturday of each month and will host a silent auction with items up for bid from the merchants of Kings' Shops. Stroll under the stars to the music of Grammy award-winner Charles Michael Brotman while visiting with local artists who will be showing their work at art galleries and dine at the restaurants of Kings' Shops. For more information, visit their website.
Lyman Museum in Hilo
The special exhibit "Sasana: The Burma Portfolio," a collection of large-format black and white photographs, is on display at the Lyman Museum in Hilo beginning September 7 through January 12, 2013. Dr. Steven Garon, a volunteer with the Aloha Medical Mission, has been capturing images of the people and local culture of Burma (Republic of the Union of Myanmar) since 2006. The result is a story of humanity and compassion that is timely and universal in scope. For more information, call (808) 935-5021 or visit visit their website.
Mauna Lani Sea Adventures
Mauna Lani Sea Adventures at the Mauna Lani Resort has added some new activities to its current offerings. Starting in August it will be offering WOW (Weddings on Winona) packages. These packages will consist of small and large group rates for weddings, as well as packages for rehearsal dinners and wedding vow renewals. Winona is its 50' sailing catamaran on which they currently offer snorkel and sunset sail cruises and, during whale season, whale watch cruises. For more information, call (808) 885-7883 or visit their website.
The Palace Theater
The Palace Theater in Hilo is offering "Hawaiiana Live" every Wednesday morning at 11:00 a.m. It is a 45-minute cultural tourism program featuring live, on-stage presentations sharing the history and traditions of the Hawaiian culture through storytelling, film, music, oli and hula. Topics and films change weekly as the program revolves around the Hawaiian lunar calendar, and surprise guests and musicians often appear. Admission is $5.00 and kids aged 12 and under are free. Call (808) 934-7010 for more information, or visit their website.
August 18 - Fourth Annual Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Fest
Royal Kona Resort presents the Fourth Annual Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Fest with a $10,000 prize for the World's Best Mai Tai. The festivities start August 18 at 11:00 a.m. and will include the Mai Tai Marketplace, Battle of the BBQ cook-off with some of Hawai'i's top chefs, pool party with entertainment by island favorite Henry Kapono, and World's Best Mai Tai Contest. Festival admission is free. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. For additional information, call (808) 270-9780 or visit their website.
August 25 - 6th Annual Cool Fusion: The Festival of 1000 Bowls
Head up the hill to breezy Kona coffee land on August 25 for the Sixth Annual Cool Fusion: The Festival of 1000 Bowls. Your $20 donation provides you with a lunch comprised of Japanese somen noodles in a handmade pottery bowl that you keep, as well as a live performance by Grammy award winning slack key artist John Keawe. This event will take place on the lawn of the Donkey Mill Art Center in Holualoa from 12:00-3:00 p.m., and all proceeds go to the Ceramics Program. For more information, call (808) 322-3362 or visit their website.
September 22 - 6th Annual Parade & Festival for the United Nations International Day of Peace
On September 22, join the 6th Annual Parade & Festival for the United Nations International Day of Peace in Honoka'a Town. The free multi-cultural festivities are fun for all generations and will include a colorful 'moving stage' during the parade with marching bands, dancers, Taiko drummers, colorful floats, street performers and more. Afterwards, eat and be merry with even more music on stage at the community festival in the Honoka'a Sports Complex and take part in a large community bon dance. For more information, visit their website or find them on Facebook
August 29 - Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park celebrates the release of its new commemorative quarter in a special ceremony on Wednesday, August 29. The new quarter is the 14th in the United States Mint's America the Beautiful Quarters® series. The coin features an engraved image of an eruption on Kilauea's East Rift Zone on its reverse (or tails) side and inscriptions that read "HAWAI'I VOLCANOES, HAWAII 2012 and E PLURIBUS UNUM." All quarters in the program have a common obverse (heads side) featuring a portrait of George Washington and the inscriptions "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, LIBERTY, IN GOD WE TRUST and QUARTER DOLLAR." The ceremony will take place at the park's Kahua Hula, south of Kilauea Visitor Center, on Crater Rim Drive from 1:30-3:00 p.m. Visitors can exchange cash for $10 rolls of the highly collectible quarter. The event is free, but park entrance fees apply. For more information, visit their website.