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Contact: Jessica Ferracane, 808-985-6018The 37th annual Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Cultural Festival & BioBlitz is Saturday, July 8, 2017, at Kilauea Military Camp. Park entrance is free all day.
The festival starts at 10 a.m. with a pū-blowing ceremony. At 10:15 a.m., dancers from Hālau Hula Ulumamo o Hilo Palikū will perform kahiko on the pā hula, under the direction of Kumu Hula Mamo Brown. Music follows at 11:15 a.m. by entertainer Lito Arkangel. At 12:15 p.m., dancers from kupuna hālau, Haunani’s Aloha Expressions, perform. Musician and songwriter Kenneth Makuakāne takes the stage at 1:15 p.m., and at 2:15 p.m., Aunty Diana Aki, the “songbird of Miloli‘i,” closes the festival. Hoku Awong emcees.
Culture converges with science at the BioBlitz. Register now at the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park website for field inventories like “Botanical Bliss” and learn about the plants of Kīlauea, or the hula plants of the volcano, “Nā Mea Kanu o Ka Hula.” “Tools of the Trade” is a discovery hike led by park archeologists who will explain how Hawaiians used lava rock to make stone tools.
Keiki to kupuna can participate in Hawaiian cultural activities like ku‘i kalo (pounding poi), lomilomi (massage), ‘ohe kāpala (Hawaiian bamboo stamping), try Hawaiian makahiki games like haka moa (one-legged chicken wrestling), discover lā‘au lapa‘au (medicine from plants), make a small kāhili (feather standard), weave lei, and more. All festival activities are located at the grassy lawn and ball field area at Kilauea Military Camp, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Visitors can learn more about conservation and biodiversity through fun, interactive exhibits sponsored by leading conservation organizations, including Hawai‘i Island Natural Area Reserves; Hawai‘i Wildfire Management Organization; ‘Imi Pono no ka ‘Āina; Mokupāpapa Discovery Center; Hawai‘i Wildlife Center; Dept. of Land & Natural Resources Wildlife Program; Plant Extinction Prevention Program; Big Island Invasive Species Committee; and Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death educators.
The festival’s theme, Hilina‘i Puna, Kālele iā Ka‘ū, (Puna leans and reclines on Ka‘ū), celebrates the two land districts that comprise the park. The event is sponsored by Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association, the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and Kilauea Military Camp.
Make sure to wear sunscreen and a hat. Bring water, rain jacket, and ground mat or chair. No pets. Lunch and beverages will be available for sale. This wonderful family experience is a drug- and alcohol-free event.