2020 Festivals on the Island of Hawaii

By Karen Rose

Photo: Cindy Ellen Russell / crussell@staradvertiser.com

The Island of Hawaiʻi loves hosting festivals, and the year 2020 will be no exception.

The Big Island’s festivals are fun, tasty and entertaining; sure to please locals and visitors alike. Packed with music, culture, food and performances, there’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy.

Waimea Ocean Film Festival

The Waimea Ocean Film Festival brings together filmmakers and film lovers for several days of immersion into island culture and environmental adventures. The festival aims to raise awareness and understanding of issues affecting the health and well-being of our oceans through visual film experiences. The festival will kick off the new year January 1-4 in Waimea, as well as The Fairmont Orchid and Mauna Kea Resort. The fun continues January 5-8 at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. For more information, visit https://www.waimeaoceanfilm.org/

Hawaiʻi Island Steel Guitar Festival

This special festival takes place February 7-9, 2020 at the Mauna Lani Hotel in Kamuela, to help celebrate the grand re-opening and completion of the property’s renovation project. This festival features steel guitar performances of Hawaiʻi steel guitar masters, workshops and jam sessions, where festival guests can play along with steel guitar masters. This rescheduled festival will not affect the date of the 4th annual festival, which is tentatively scheduled for December 11-13, 2020. For more information, visit https://www.hawaiisteelguitarfestival.com/

Kona Brewer’s Festival

This popular annual event will take place March 14, 2020 in Kailua-Kona. The island’s best chefs join forces with craft brewers from the Hawaiian Islands and the mainland to collaborate through food, beer, fun and art. With live music and entertainment, the Kona Brewer’s Festival is unique in that it features a culinary experience with craft beers difficult to find in Hawaiʻi. Ticket sales raise funds for 28 Hawaii Island youth, culture, and environmental programs. For more information, visit http://konabrewersfestival.com/

Merrie Monarch Festival

The Merrie Monarch Festival is Hawaiʻi’s premier hula competition. It takes place every spring, the week following Easter Sunday. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful stories of ancient Hawaii told through song and dance. The 2020 event will take place April 12-18 in Hilo, Hawaii. Click here for more information.

Big Island Chocolate Festival

One of the most anticipated and tasty galas of the year is the Big Island Chocolate Festival’s Annual Gala and Silent Auction. More than 30 chef booths with sweet and savory chocolate tastings will be on hand, as well as vegan and vegetarian options, which are available at the Ulu Mole Bar. There is also plenty of beer, wine and sponsored tequila cocktails. Enjoy an evening of dancing, chocolate and more at this sell out event, taking place April 18, 2020.

Kaʻu Coffee Festival

On May 8-17, Kau coffee lovers will “toast the roast” and discover what makes the rural Kaʻu area so special for growing coffee. Participate in mountain hikes, stargazing, music, hula, food and more! Ka’u coffee is grown, hand-picked and produced on the farms gracing the gentle slopes of Mauna Loa in the lush, green Ka’u region of Hawaii’s Big Island.

Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament

Anglers and teams from around the world come together on the Island of Hawaiʻi every September to spend five days competing in Kona’s famous waters. Fishing aboard some of the finest charter boats, the sport’s legends gather for the thrill of capturing the prestigious HIBT Governor’s trophy. Dates of 2020’s competition TBA.

Hawaii Food and Wine Festival

This premier food and wine festival is a must-attend event for all foodies! The islands of Hawaiʻi, Maui and Oʻahu host this exquisite culinary event every October with world-class chefs, winemakers and master sommeliers for thousands of wine and food lovers. The next festival is scheduled for October 2-25, 2020. Details to be announced.

Ironman World Championship

Every year, the best athletes from around the world gather in Kona to compete in the grueling Ironman World Championship. The next race will be held on Saturday, October 10, 2020. The Ironman World Championship centers on the dedication and courage exhibited by participants who demonstrate the mantra that “Anything is possible.” Visitors witnessing this challenging race can attest to the truthfulness of this mantra!

Kona Coffee Cultural Festival

Come and celebrate all things coffee! The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival includes nearly 50 events over 10 days. Every November, Kona coffee’s world-renown reputation and its unique cultural heritage celebrate the coffee traditions that produced some of the world’s most expensive and tasty coffee. The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival experience is unique, educational and ensures the story of Kona coffee’s cultural heritage continues to be shared with residents and visitors. The 50th Annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival will be held November 6-15, 2020.

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