The upcoming month of May looks, by all outward appearances, to have a calendar full of art, music, food, culture, and much more.
As of late March 2022, the Island of Hawaii and the state have lifted the indoor mask mandate and currently no longer impose any travel COVID-related restrictions or requirements on domestic visitors. We’d be remiss not to still advise keeping a close eye on events as they approach.
In the frenzy of planning a trip, it can be daunting for travelers to scour that calendar and try and pick out what they want and can attend while there. This article is a basic guide to some of the best Big Island events and festivals coming in May 2022.
Mele and Lei Month
The lei is one of the most recognizable Hawaiian and Polynesian culture symbols. On the Island of Hawaii in May, this culture is celebrated uniquely. This May, however, will be extra special.
Usually, The Volcano Art Center hosts Lei Day; but this May, the organization is hosting Mele and Lei Month. Beginning on Sunday, May 1st, events will be held at the center and will showcase the cultural facets of this critical wreath. Many of these events will be free.
When: May 1st – May 28th, 10 AM – 3 PM
Where: The Volcano Art Center
More Info: The Volcano Art Center
Kokua Kailua Village Stroll
This large outdoor market is held once a month on a Sunday. In May, it falls on the 15th.
The Kokua Kailua Village Stroll showcases local art, crafts, jewelry, food, and lots more in the scenic heart of the Big Island’s most famous region. Visitors will also find live music and dance in front of Hulihe’e Palace.
When: May 15th, 1 PM – 6 PM
Where: Ali’i Dr, Kailua
More Info: Kokua Kailua Village Stroll
Honokaa Western Week
Hawaii has a rich cultural history associated with ranching, boasting its unique brand of cowboy culture: Paniolo culture.
May on the Big Island marks an extraordinary period of celebration for this culture. During Western Week in the northern town of Honokaa, you’ll see restaurants and local businesses decorated both in festive adornments and themed discounts/specials. You’ll also find locally crafted “photo stops” along the town’s main thoroughfare, Mamane Street.
The week also includes a talent show, a silent auction, and more. To keep track of dates and times throughout the week, we recommend checking the event website.
When: May 21st – 30th
More Info: Honokaa Western Week
Whether immersing yourself in Paniolo heritage or learning how to make a lei, you’ll find the month of May on the Big Island to be full of opportunities to have distinctively Hawaiian experiences for the whole family to enjoy.