HILO, Hawaii – Feel good island music drew thousands to Downtown Hilo for the biggest one night event on Hawaii Island.
For 20 years, the KWXX Ho’olaulea has rocked East Hawaii. It has become the top annual concert event on the Big Island’s calendar. Every year around this time, Kamehameha Avenue closes and the stages go up, at the corners of Haili and Kalakaua streets, before the throngs of fans flood the area. The Mo‘oheau Park bandstand also serves as a stage during the event.
This year, the music festival added a forth stage to its portfolio of free music offerings. For the first time, the Palace Theater served as a venue, featuring mostly traditional Hawaiian-style music. It was a chance for the crowd to go indoors and get off their feet.
Mayor Billy Kenoi made a proclamation in honor of the KWXX Ho’olaulea, and thanked Chris Leonard – the President and General Manager of New West Broadcasting, owner of KWXX. Its a legacy event for the Leonard family. Chris’ father, John, started the Ho’olaulea, a few years before he passed away in 1996.
The show included many of the names that have graced the KWXX stage in the past. Anuhea, Ekolu, Sudden Rush. This year, there was also a highly anticipated debut. The Green, a sensation on the mainland as much as in Hawaii, was set to perform on Saturday.