The 31st annual Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Cultural Festival will take place on Saturday, July 9, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park's Kahuku Unit, in the Ka‘u District of the Big Island of Hawaii.
There will be no admission fee at Kahuku or the main Kilauea section of the park on July 9, 2011, in honor of this popular annual festival.
The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Cultural Festival 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.
2011 Festival Theme
This year's theme, He ali‘i ka ‘aina. He kauwa 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 life-cycle, including a lone chick in a pahoehoe pit nest awaiting its parents' arrival, a pair of soaring ‘ua‘u, the marine life they feed upon, the pukiawe shrub (which grows in the area), and an active volcano. T-shirts will be available for sale at the festival.
2011 Festival Entertainment and Activities
Hawaiian entertainment will include hula performances by Halau Ulumamo o Hilo Paliku and Haunani's Hula Expressions, and notable Hawaiian musicians Joseph Nahale, Kenneth Makuakane, falsetto singer Kai Ho‘opi‘i, and Aunty Diana Aki and friends.
Festival attendees can 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), na pa‘ani (Hawaiian games), na mea mala (native plant gardening), and la‘au lapa‘au (how to identify and use local medicinal plants), are just a few of the interactive demonstrations participants can learn about.
The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park's 31st Annual Cultural Festival is co-sponsored by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, Hawaii Natural History Association, Friends of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Kilauea Military Camp.
What to Bring
Wear sunscreen and a hat. Bring water, rain jacket, and ground mat or chair. No pets.
The Kahuku unit is located about 42 miles south of the main entrance to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the mountain side of Hwy. 11, between mile markers 70 and 71. This location is also just a little over 50 miles south of Kailua-Kona.
About the Kahuku Unit Section of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
The 116,000-acre Kahuku Ranch was purchased by Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in cooperation with the Nature Conservancy in July 2003 for $22 million and more than doubled the size of the National Park. The Kahuku unit section of the park is open to the public every weekend (Saturday and Sunday) from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The gate is locked at 3:00 p.m. Kahuku is closed on the 1st Saturday of each month.
About Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Hawaii 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‘aina (native born) and malihini (newcomers), to come together for a fun and exciting day of sharing of traditional customs and values.