Saturday, June 25, 2011

Fourth of July on the Big Island

With Fourth of July just around the corner, fun and festivities are starting to brew on the Big Island. While many folks head to the beach or a barbecue, plenty of local-style community events offer a good time for the entire family:

Green Sea Turtle
Turtle Independence Day takes place at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows beginning at 10:30 a.m. Three- and four-year-old turtles that have been raised in the resort's Honu Ponds are released in the ocean. The celebration includes live music, a festive barbecue and educational programs about Hawai‘i's green sea turtle.

Parker Ranch
For a paniolo-style Fourth of July, drive up to Waimea for the 49th annual July 4th Rodeo and Horse Races at Parker Ranch. Ranchers and rodeo families take part in everything from team roping and ribbon mugging to pole bending and barrel racing. Activities for the keiki include pony rides and roping demonstrations. The rodeo takes place from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

Back in Kailua-Kona, the annual Fourth of July community parade brings out a cast of colorful characters from the Kona community, as well as civic organizations, community leaders, businesses, non-profits, elected officials, floats, marching bands and more. The parade travels down Ali‘i Drive from 5:30 to 7 p.m. After the parade, a fireworks display lights up Kailua Bay beginning at 8:15 p.m.

Holualoa Inn is the place to be this summer. Located just a short drive about Kailua-Kona in upcountry coffee country, our romantic bed-and-breakfast inn offers a tropical retreat with panoramic ocean views. Our innkeepers welcome you to visit the inn for a private tour. Check out our special rates on romantic amenities like couple's massage, Champagne or private hula lessons.

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn

Friday, June 17, 2011

Holualoa's Lauhala-Weaving History

Lauhala hat
Holualoa is known for its art galleries, estate-grown coffee and, of course, the Holualoa Inn. But did you know that Holualoa has been a hub for lauhala weaving for generations?

Indeed, some of the state's finest lauhala weavers come from Holualoa, including the legendary Aunty Elizabeth Maluihi Lee. Named a Living Treasure by the Office of Hawaiian affairs in 1993, Aunty Elizabeth has been at the forefront of perpetuating this quintessential Polynesian art. Holualoa is also the site of Kimura Lauhala Shop, established in 1914 and originally a place where weavers could trade their products for staple items. Today, the little shop at the junction still features the work of Kona-based weavers — everything from hats and purses to fans, boxes and bracelets — as well as the work of third-generation shop owner, Renee Kimura, an accomplished weaver.

Aunty Elizabeth Lee of Holualoa
In Old Hawaii, the leaves (lau) of the hala tree were used to create functional items like hats for working in the fields and baskets for picking coffee.  Leaves are collected dry, either from the ground or picked from the tree after they turn brown. It takes time to clean the leaves to make them pliable for weaving.

The abundance of hala trees in Kona made it a hotbed for lauhala weaving. As in year's past, Kona continues to be the state's prime destination for lauhala weavers. Weavers from throughout the state attend the annual weaving conference in Kona founded by Aunty Elizabeth Lee. There are also several Kona weaving clubs that teach the craft.

When staying at Holualoa Inn, be sure to visit Kimura Lauhala Shop, located just minutes from the Inn. Plan your romantic Hawaii vacation at our Kona bed and breakfast and let us assist you in arranging your island activities.

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn

Friday, June 10, 2011

Pu‘uhonua o Honaunau Cultural Festival, 2011

As the famous song goes, everybody loves a hukilau. But how many of you have actually seen a real hukilau in person?

This year's festival marks the park's 50th anniversary.
Visitors to Pu‘uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park will have the opportunity to witness the ways and lifestyles of Old Hawai‘i, when the park presents its annual Cultural Festival on June 24, 25 and 26. The weekend event will showcase traditional practices such as weaving, lei making, medicinal plant usage and musical instrument making, followed by the grand finale: a demonstration of the traditional Hawaiian fishing method known as the hukilau.

Hukilau rope, draped from coconut trees.
The word hukilau literally means to pull (huki) with leaves (lau). A community event, a hukilau takes place in shallow water with a 200-foot rope that is strung with hundreds of leaves that dangle in the water. Participants enter the water while holding the rope, circling the reef fish by pulling the rope underwater toward the shore like a broom — all the while slapping the water and shouting, "huki everybody!" Although the old-time hukilau traditionally involved a few dozen people, up to 100 people might participate at the park's annual event, just for the fun of it.

In reality, the practice of hukilau was banned in Hawai‘i in the 1950s because of the enormous amount of fish and marine life that can be caught. When the National Park hosts its annual hukilau demonstration at Kioniele Cove, as it has done for 35 years, any fish caught are released back to the ocean.

Ancient temple (heiau) at Pu‘uhonua o Honaunau.
This year's cultural festival celebration marks the park's 50th anniversary as a unit of the National Park Service. Located in South Kona, the park is just a 30-minute drive from Holualoa Inn.

Your Holualoa Inn ohana is available to help you plan your day and suggest other points of interest along the way. A romantic Hawaiian vacation awaits guests of our tropical bed-and-breakfast retreat.

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn

Saturday, June 4, 2011

King Kamehameha Day Parade, Saturday, June 11

This coming Saturday on June 11, a floral parade honoring Hawaii's first monarch will take place on Ali‘i Drive in Kailua-Kona beginning at 9 a.m. With more than 100 riders on horseback, the parade will showcase pa‘u equestrian units, marching bands, private mounted units, hula halau, floats, a horse-drawn carriage and more.

Beginning at the Royal Kona Resort near Walua Road, the parade will journey through Kailua Village past Hulihe‘e Palace and Kailua Pier and King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel, then up Palani Road to Kuakini Highway. After the parade, a free concert and ho‘olaule‘a (cultural festival) will continue the day's festivities at the Swing Zone (near Old Airport), from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Parade queen Hannah Kihalani Springer will be riding with colleagues from the Kona Historical Society's Ranching Project. Her unit will highlight the flora of Hannah's family lands of Hu‘ehu‘e Ranch in North Kona. Cultural historian Danny Akaka will accompany Hannah on horseback while singing and playing ukulele.  A longtime paniolo with Hu‘ehu‘e Ranch and accomplished musician, Karin Haleamau, will be this year's grand marshal. His son Kevin will be a strolling troubadour with his equestrian unit. All eight Hawaiian islands will be represented by pa‘u princesses outfitted in the colors and flora of their respective islands, accompanied by attendants, outriders and pages. Daughters of Hawaii will have a pa‘u equestrian unit as well. Other parade honorees include Miss Aloha Nui Kalai‘e Yoremura and Little Miss Ka‘u Coffee.

Holualoa Inn is located just a five-minute drive from Kailua-Kona. In honor of King Kamehameha Day during the month of June, the Inn is offering a "Celebrate Your King" special romance package (that's also fit for a queen!).

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn