The Gathering Place Of The Kohala Coast
The tagline for Waikoloa Beach Resort is “The Gathering Place of the Kohala Coast,” and it is well earned. With more shops, restaurants, concerts, sporting events, and cultural activities than anywhere else along the stretch of coastline from the airport to Kawaihae, there really is a lot going on at Waikoloa.
“Everything we do at Waikoloa Beach Resort is geared toward both enhancing the guest experience and supporting the local community,” says Scott Head, Vice President Operations. “Whether it be the many authentic cultural programs found here on a daily and weekly basis, or high-quality entertainment that comes in for special occasions, resort visitors and the Hawai`i Island community alike benefit.”
Among the many happenings at Waikoloa Beach Resort are:
Each week throughout the resort, numerous activities are offered that spotlight everything from Hawaiian culture — such as hula shows, ‘ukulele lessons, lei making lessons, and petroglyph tours — to local musicians, a Wednesday farmers’ market, and more. Family fun is emphasized with monthly movies under the stars and monthly concerts.
WHEEL… OF… FORTUNE
During the month of September, Wheel of Fortune, which reaches 28 million weekly viewers, will return to Waikoloa Beach Resort with its cast and crew of 270 to tape 20 episodes at Hilton Waikoloa Village. The shows will be divided into four themed weeks: “Wheel Goes Waikoloa,” “Best Friends,” “Hawaiian Adventure,” and “Second Honeymoon.” The episodes are slated to air in November and February.
The renowned band known as America will grace the Grand Ballroom stage at Hilton Waikoloa Village on September 27 and play songs from their more than four-decade
catalogue of music. You can be sure they’ll crank it up with mega-hits “Horse with No Name,” “Ventura Highway,” “Sister Golden Hair,” and many more. This is one of several major concerts sponsored by Waikoloa Beach Resort, which over the past years have also featured marquee names such as Chicago and Earth Wind & Fire.
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HAWAI`I FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL
Hawai`i Island and Waikoloa Beach Resort hosted the opening night of the Hawaii Food & Festival on Friday, August 29. Themed “Aloha ‘Āina, Aloha Kai — Love of the Land, Love of the Sea,” the six-course sit-down gala dinner was held at Waikoloa Beach Marriott in partnership with Hilton Waikoloa Village. Participating chefs included Charles Charbonneau of the Hilton Waikoloa Village and Jayson Kanekoa of Waikoloa Beach Marriott, along with several visiting chefs from Hawai`i and the Mainland. “To have the Hawai`i Food & Wine Festival here at Waikoloa Beach Resort is a true testament to our resort’s commitment to the culinary culture of the island,” said Chef Charbonneau. “Not only does this event showcase the bounty of local produce, meats and seafood, but it raises money for some very worthwhile causes.” Last year, for example, the Festival raised more than $200,000 for local beneficiaries committed to sustainability and cultural and educational programs in Hawai`i.
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TASTE OF THE RANGE
On September 26, the 19th Annual Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agricultural Festival will be held at Hilton Waikoloa Village. Thirty of the state’s top chefs will converge on Waikoloa Beach Resort to prepare dishes using pasture-raised beef, pork, lamb, goat, and wild boar; along with a cornucopia of fresh island fruit, veggies, honey, spices, and beverages. While “tasting,” attendees can meet Hawai`i’s food producers and talk story with the ranchers and farmers who make a living growing our food. They can also enjoy exhibits related to local agriculture and healthy foods.
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THE GREAT WAIKOLOA CANOE RACE
Hosted by the Waikoloa Canoe Club, the 12-mile Great Waikoloa Canoe Race is one of outrigger canoe racing’s premier events on the Big Island. The 2014 race took place on August 23, staged in Anaeho‘omalu Bay. Canoe building and paddling are two of the more significant aspects of traditional Hawaiian culture, and this race gives both the local community and visitors to the island a chance to see and interact with dedicated paddlers whose stated mission is “to strengthen family and community relationships, improve ourselves both mentally and physically, help eliminate social differences, create positive interdependence, and help preserve local customs and traditions by perpetuating the sport of outrigger canoe racing.”
SWINGIN’ WITH THE TOMMY DORSEY ORCHESTRA
“It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing,” Duke Ellington once said. On August 17, the Waikoloa Beach Marriott sponsored the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra in their Naupaka Ballroom, and the community came out to swing and dance to the tunes of one of the greatest big bands of the Swing Era. Presented by the Kahilu Theater, this jumping night of live music featured 25 musicians, singers, and dancers on stage, along with tributes to Benny Goodman, Harry James, and Artie Shaw. Hilo’s Hep Cats made a special appearance.
HAWAI`I ISLAND FESTIVAL— 30 DAYS OF ALOHA
This month-long celebration seeks to perpetuate the cultural traditions and aloha spirit of the Big Island through various signature and affiliated events. Among those held at Waikoloa Beach Resort in August were: Investiture at Anaeho‘omalu Bay; the Ms. Aloha Nui 2014 Pageant, honoring the “beautiful, boldest, and large” women of Hawai`i; the ever-popular Poke Contest; and the amazing Kindy Sproat Falsetto Concert, this year honoring the late Pua Garmon, the event’s longtime and beloved chairperson who recently passed away. Suffice to say, there’s always something happening at Waikoloa Beach Resort … “The Gathering Place of the Kohala Coast!”