Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park Hosts 40th Cultural Festival

Nestled among the breathtaking landscapes of the Big Island, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park stands as a testament to nature’s power and beauty, inviting adventurers and nature lovers alike to explore its wonders. Celebrating its rich heritage, the park is proud to host the 40th Cultural Festival, a vibrant testament to the deep-rooted traditions and the enduring spirit of the Hawaiian people. This event not only highlights the park’s pivotal role in preserving natural and cultural landmarks but also emphasizes the significance of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park history, offering attendees a unique opportunity to connect with the land and its stories.

Visitors can look forward to a curated selection of events and activities designed to educate and entertain. From traditional crafts and music to enlightening talks on the volcano’s geological impact, the festival serves as an immersive platform for all ages to engage with the park’s diverse offerings. Join us as we unpack the magic of the volcano festival, celebrating four decades of culture, nature, and community at one of Hawai’i’s most iconic destinations.

Festival Overview

History of the Cultural Festival

The Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park’s Cultural Festival has a rich history, initially held at the coast amid the swaying palms of Kamoamoa. However, the 1992 lava flows from Pele forced a relocation to the summit of Kilauea, allowing the festival to continue amidst the striking landscape adorned with red-blossomed ohia trees. This move marked a new chapter for the festival, reinforcing its resilience and adaptability in the face of natural changes.

Significance of the 40th Edition

Celebrating its 40th anniversary, this year’s festival not only commemorates four decades of rich cultural exchange but also emphasizes the ongoing commitment to cultural preservation and education within the park. Co-sponsored by multiple organizations including Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park and the Hawai’i Tourism Authority, the event showcases a vibrant array of performances, crafts, and local conservation efforts. This milestone edition serves as a testament to the enduring spirit of the Hawaiian community and the festival’s role in fostering a deeper connection with the island’s heritage and natural environment.

Events and Activities

Traditional Performances

Visitors to the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park 40th Cultural Festival can expect a vibrant showcase of local talent. The festival will feature Hawaiian and island-inspired music from renowned artists such as Kenneth Makuakāne, the Pandanus Club, and Keaīwa. Additionally, attendees will be treated to captivating hula performances by Kaleilaniakealiʻi and LoriLei’s Hula Studio, offering a deep dive into the rich traditions of Hawaiian dance.

Workshops and Demonstrations

The festival provides a unique opportunity for hands-on learning with various workshops and demonstrations. Participants can engage in traditional Hawaiian games, learn the art of makau (Hawaiian fishhook making), and practice weaving with lau niu (coconut palm leaves) and lau hala (pandanus leaves). Moreover, workshops on making lei lāʻī (tī leaf lei) and kāhili (feather standards) will be available, along with demonstrations on how lāʻāu lapaʻau (Hawaiian medicinal plants) can enhance health. The interactive experience is further enriched with ‘ohe kāpala (bamboo stamping), allowing everyone to make their mark.

Food and Crafts

Culinary delights and artisanal crafts will be abundant at the festival. Laulima Catering and 4 Scoops of Aloha will offer a taste of Hawaiian cuisine, while the Hawaiian Civic Club of Kaʻū will serve traditional lunch plates. Festival-goers can also browse through a variety of crafts and purchase unique items such as the official 2024 festival T-shirt. For those looking to enjoy a picnic, bringing your food is encouraged, though food and refreshments will also be available for purchase.

Visitor Information

Date and Venue

The 40th Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park Hawaiian Cultural Festival will take place in Kahuku on Saturday, July 20, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Located on the mauka side of Highway 11 near mile marker 70.5, Kahuku is approximately a 50-minute drive south of the park’s main entrance. This location offers a spacious and scenic setting for the festivities.

Ticketing and Entry

Admission to the festival is free, providing an accessible cultural experience for all visitors. For those exploring the park further, general admission is $30.00 per private non-commercial vehicle or $15.00 for pedestrians and bicyclists, valid for seven days. The Hawai’i Tri-Park Annual Pass is available for $55.00, offering year-long access to three national parks in Hawai’i.

Accommodations: Kilauea Hospitality Group

Kilauea Hospitality Group offers a variety of surprisingly inexpensive lodging options. They are located in a rainforest just minutes from the entrance to the park. Make sure you stay a few days to enjoy the area. Visitors to the cultural festival are advised to arrive early, especially during peak times like the holiday season, to avoid crowds and ensure parking availability. Essential items to bring include water, sun protection, and a rain jacket. For those planning to stay longer, consider exploring additional attractions along the Chain of Craters Road or the less crowded Kahuku unit, open weekends.


Reflecting on the vibrant celebration of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park’s 40th Cultural Festival, it’s evident that this event serves as a bridge connecting the past with the present, celebrating the rich heritage and enduring spirit of the Hawaiian people. Through a diverse array of performances, workshops, and demonstrations, visitors are afforded a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the traditions and natural beauty that define Hawai’i. The festival’s emphasis on education, preservation, and cultural exchange underscores its significance not just as an annual event, but as a vital part of the ongoing effort to honor and sustain Hawaiian culture and environment.

As we commemorate four decades of cultural celebration within the majestic landscapes of the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, the festival’s impact stretches far beyond mere entertainment. It fosters a deeper understanding and appreciation for the natural and cultural landmarks that make this park a treasure. The collective experiences shared by attendees and the knowledge imparted by cultural practitioners are invaluable, contributing to a legacy that will continue to inspire future generations. In celebrating the festival’s past and looking forward to its future, we are reminded of the importance of stewardship, community, and the pivotal role of cultural festivals in enriching our lives and landscapes.


Can you share some intriguing details about Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park?
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, established in 1961 and previously part of Hawaii National Park (created in 1916), spans an area of 505 square miles (1,308 square kilometers). The park is home to two of the world’s active volcanoes, Mauna Loa and Kilauea, which are about 25 miles (40 km) apart. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987. Notably, Mauna Loa had an eruption in 2022.

Why is Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park renowned worldwide?
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is famous for its dramatic natural features, ranging from sea level up to 13,680 feet. It includes the peaks of two of the world’s most active volcanoes, Kīlauea and Mauna Loa. The park is recognized both as an International Biosphere Reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, celebrated for its unique geological and ecological value.

How many visitors does Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park attract annually?
In 2023, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park attracted 1,620,294 visitors, contributing to the 325.5 million visits recorded across all national parks that year.