Inaugural festival kicks off today

  • Courtesy of JESSE TUNISON A group of friends enjoy a glass of wine at Volcano Winery.

  • Courtesy photos by JESSE TUNISON

VOLCANO — Volcano businesses are banding together to showcase their community.

A celebration of arts, crafts, food and Hawaiian culture, the inaugural Experience Volcano Festival is 9 a.m.-4 p.m. today and Sunday at locations throughout the Volcano community: Volcano Garden Arts, Lava Rock Cafe, Kilauea Lodge, Volcano Winery, Volcano Art Center and Akatsuka Orchid Farm.


Ira Ono, owner of Volcano Garden Arts and president of Experience Volcano, said the organization received a grant for economic recovery and decided to host an arts and culture festival “to let people know of all the wonderful cultural assets we have in the Volcano area.”

The group has worked on the festival for more than a year, he said.

“Everyone is very excited about sharing all that we have to offer here in Volcano village, culturally speaking.”

Volcano businesses have worked to rebound following the 2018 eruption of Kilauea. While lava flowed through lower Puna, destroying more than 700 homes and structures, impacts were felt islandwide.

Between frequent earthquakes caused by the eruption and felt throughout Volcano, and the nearly four-month closure of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the stream of visitors to the area dwindled.

Ono said the goal of the festival is to “let people know that Volcano Village is more than just a gateway community to (Hawaii Volcanoes National Park). There are many cultural components here, and it’s a wonderful place to visit and stay.”

Janet Coney, general manager of Kilauea Lodge and Restaurant, shared similar sentiments and said the hope is to draw local folks and visitors alike to the area and create awareness of what Volcano has to offer.

“To be able to showcase Volcano and the different businesses (and) the artists that we have up here, and to be able to give visitors a little taste of our part of paradise, I’m excited,” Coney said.

“Once I think they get a taste of Volcano and see what’s up here … hopefully, that will encourage repeat visits,” she said, adding that the festival will be “a win-win situation for everyone that is involved with this.”

While post-eruption business is “definitely not back to normal,” Coney said it is picking up.

“I think it’s going to take some time for whatever our new normal is going to be, but it’s definitely a lot better than the situation we were in a year ago.”

More information about the festival can be found online at

Festival activities are planned at six locations throughout Volcano. Unless otherwise noted, the listed events will take place at those times today and Sunday.

Volcano Garden Arts: Art of Bonsai (all day), raku demonstration (all day), pottery wheel throwing (all day), ceramic mask making (1 p.m.), paper batik make and take (all day), self-guided rainforest walk (all day).

Lava Rock Cafe: Hawaiian quilting demonstration (9 a.m.), hula performance (10 a.m. today), Lito Arkangel (11 a.m. today), keiki and ohana time activities (noon-2 p.m.), Lloyd Longakit and Doug Espejo (1 p.m. today), Ola Tripp Jr. (2:30 p.m. today), poi pounding (10 a.m. Sunday), Veronica Rose (11 a.m. Sunday), Tahitian hula (noon Sunday), William Kauhane (2 p.m. Sunday).

Lava Rock also will have additional live music from 5-10 p.m. today

Kilauea Lodge: petting zoo (all day), Randy Lorenzo (10 a.m. today), hula performance (noon today and 3 p.m. Sunday), historic homes of Volcano walking tour (1 p.m. today), Keoki Kahumoku (2 p.m. today), stamp carving (3 p.m. today), opening oli (9 a.m. Sunday), The Brown Boys (11 a.m. Sunday), afternoon tea (2:30 p.m. Sunday, only booking in advance).

Volcano Winery: tea harvest workshop (9 a.m.), winery tours (starts at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 and 3 p.m.), meet the winemaker (11 a.m. today), Loren and Lauren (1 p.m. today), Makana Kamahele (1 p.m. Sunday), Aunty Pons Thai Food Truck (all day today), Tuk Tuk Thai Food Truck (all day Sunday).

Volcano Art Center: opening oli (9 a.m. today), lei making (10 a.m. today), African pottery hand building (11 a.m. today), Hawaiian block printing (1 p.m. today, 11 a.m. Sunday), rain forest walk and tour (noon and 2 p.m. today, 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday), ukulele lessons (3 p.m.), community mosaic (noon Sunday).

“Hawaii: Living on the Edge in Paradise?” — a movie about the 2018 eruption — will screen from 7-8 p.m. today at Volcano Art Center.

Akatsuka Orchid Farm: plant sale (all day), kids activity corner (10 a.m. and 2 p.m.), orchid tour (11 a.m.), Tuk Tuk Thai Food Truck (all day today), orchid flask planting demonstration (1 p.m.).

All events are free, and a free shuttle will be available to each location every hour from Akatsuka Orchid Farm, Kilauea Lodge and Volcano Winery.

The inaugural Ohia Lehua Half Marathon, 5K and keiki dash is 7-11 a.m. today, beginning and ending at the Volcano School of Arts and Sciences campus on Haunani Road.

Late registration is $85 for the half marathon, $45 for the 5K and $10 per child for the keiki dash.

For more information, visit

More information about the festival can be found online at

Email Stephanie Salmons at

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