Hoolaulea in Hilo


The 20th annual KWXX Hoolaulea will rock downtown streets of Hilo from 5 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday. More than 10,000 people are expected to enjoy the free, family friendly festival that is both drug- and alcohol-free.

Stages are on Kamehameha Avenue at the corners of Haili and Kalakaua streets, the Mooheau Park Bandstand and the Palace Theater stage, according to Chris Leonard who took over the event after his father, John F. Leonard, a Honolulu radio executive and concert promoter who created the event in the early 1990s to promote a pair of recently acquired financially struggling Hilo radio stations, KPUA-AM and KWXX-FM, died in 1996.

Many acts are returning to the hoolaulea including: Ekolu, Anuhea, Manao Company, Sudden Rush, Ryan Hiraoka and Darlene Ahuna. Making its hoolaulea debut this year is The Green, whose new album, “HAWAII 13,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard reggae chart.

Downtown parking lot closures begin at 5 p.m. today and street closures begin at 5 a.m. Saturday. Free parking is available at the county’s Aupuni Center with free shuttles to and from the event between 4 and 11 p.m. Saturday.

For more information, including a performance schedule, visit kwxx.com.