The Best of Kona Festival is a “first of its kind” lifestyle festival in West Hawaii bringing together all the best that Kona has to offer. The festival is being held on February 8, 2020 at the Keauhou Shopping Center from 12 – 6 pm. Attendees will experience a celebration of community where food, culture, arts, education, entertainment and more combine to showcase the best of Kona.  

The inaugural festival is the brainchild of Julie Ziemelis, founder of 365Kona, who founded the festival to give Kona a signature lifestyle event. “I wanted to produce a locally focused festival where residents and visitors alike can enjoy a “one-stop shop” in one day in one place to find housing, education, and healthcare, sample the local produce, enjoy free entertainment in a fun setting, experience the Hawaiian culture and bring non-profits together with potential volunteers.” 

Co-founder of the festival Aesha Shipiro, Aesha Rose Events and Design, and founder of the Ladies Artisan Market in Kona is excited to bring her connections and vision, as well.  “As a person born and raised on this island, my passion is to support local businesses and bring the community together to highlight of all that we are lucky to have in Kona.” 

Co-founder of the festival Nichole Lear, owner of 45 Degrees North Design, and creator of Big Island Guide is excited to bring her communications and marketing background to the team.  “I’m excited to help create a festival that brings the Kona community together, spreads the spirit of aloha and creates opportunity for local people, businesses and organizations.”

Let us know you are coming to our FREE festival and sign up at EventBrite so we can send you a reminder about the Festival and send you the schedule of the entertainment and education demonstrations at  the event!

Dozens of local businesses, restaurants, food trucks, non-profits, artists and makers will be on hand to focus on these core areas of life well lived SUSTAINABLY in Kona:

  • Arts and Culture
  • Culinary
  • Health and Wellness
  • Housing/Finance
  • Lifestyle and Family 

There will be educational presentations around buying a home and obtaining financing, preparing meals using locally grown produce, how to stay fit and healthy, where you can volunteer in the community, how to adopt a pet, tasting and education of locally sourced produce, how to make lei, pound poi, learn about taro, and play makahiki games. Talk to admissions representatives from charter schools, ride a pony, and make a craft. Combine all that with a stage featuring local dance studios, musical performances, and hula and a beer garden in which to enjoy the fun. 

Entertainment includes bands Blue Jade featuring Ann Hoku Lynn, Mis Demeanor & the Felons, Pacific Roots, Shina Romero and Big Island Music Academy and a local hula halau. 

The best part? It’s FREE to the public to attend! All of  the children’s activities and crafts are free along with culinary demonstrations and food vendors will be selling food. The event is being sponsored by local businesses who value creating a fantastic community building event and sharing Aloha, while celebrating the culture of Hawaii, where the public will enjoy themselves and businesses can learn from one another, share ideas and make new connections, as well.

Here is a video showing you the space of the event and the organizers discussing how much fun you will have! 

Adult Fun 

To enjoy the free entertainment scene, adults 21 and over are invited to support Friends of Kona Pacific by purchasing wristbands for beer sponsored by Kona Brewery Company. Proceeds go to building a commercial kitchen in South Kona. 

Making Kona Home 

If you are looking for information about how to make West Hawaii home, step into the Homeownership Education Center (the Keauhou Heritage Center) where you can learn how to obtain a mortgage, the homebuying process, how to invest in real estate and learn about a variety of mortgage assistance programs. Stop by and talk to Realtors and find out what is on the market and get some insights into where the housing  market is headed so you can map out of your homebuying goals. 

The non-profit, Hawaii Homeownership Center will provide free counseling from 4:30- 6pm. Habitat for Humanity will also be on hand to discuss its programs. 

This area is co-sponsored by the Wynn and Eagan Team, Kona Home Team, Bank of Hawaii, and the West Hawaii Association of Realtors. 

For Families

Due to the very generous donations of private individuals, many of the children’s activities, games and crafts are free in the Keiki Zone! Small kine kiddos can enjoy pony rides, face painting, soft places to play and entertainment by local dance organizations. 

Health And Wellness 

To get the most out of life in Kona, you need to be healthy! We have a variety of vendors offering many ways to stay healthy and fit-get your blood pressure checked, learn how to go for a run safely in Kona, learn about antioxidants and skin care, how to eat healthy, and get a massage! 

This area is co-sponsored by Belinda Pate-RN, Nutrex/BioAstin 

Pet Care 

LIfe is meant to be share with a companion and if your pet is your best friend, we are working with some companies that will keep your pet groomed and pampered. Looking for a new companion? Come to the adoption area and see if your new best friend is there! If you are looking for help with pet sitting, we got you covered, too! 

This area is co-sponsored by The Kona Pet Gal 

Cultural Activities 

Keauhou Shopping Centre celebrates the legacy of the land and the cultural heritage of the island. To share the energy and beauty of the Hawaiian culture, enjoy a traditional Hawaiian opening cermony with Kumu Keala Ching at noon, a hula performance, learn how to make your own lei by Hawaiian teachers, learn how to pound poi or make laulau, and sample many island fruits the Hawaiians have enjoyed for centuries. 

This area co-sponsored by Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union 

World Famous Local Products

You can’t say Kona without thinking about our famous Kona coffee. Enjoy samples of coffee while talking story to the farmers and producers of our world famous crop. Learn about the process of growing coffee and ask about farm tours. Cacao, the OTHER famous locally grown crop,  may make an appearance for tasting, too! 

This area is co-sponsored by Hawaii Coffee Connection/Taste of Aloha 

What is Life Without Art? 

Local artisans will be showcasing a variety of wares including stain glass, handbags, paintings, jewelry and clothing. And what better way to enjoy the art than through a fashion show! Sit back and watch local clothing designers entertain and tempt you with trendy, traditional, funky and fun clothing designs on the main stage. 

We encourage you to make your own artistic creations by joining in on the crafting tables throughout the event for kids and adults. 

If you would like to volunteer or find out more, visit our website at 

If you would like to be considered as a vendor, email Aesha Shapiro at

Sponsor partners include: Keauhou Shopping Center, Wynn and Eagan Team -at CityWide Home Loans, Knutson & Associates, 365Kona, Big Island Guide, Aesha Rose Event and Design, West Hawaii Association of Realtors, Hawaii Coffee Connection, Bank of Hawaii, Belinda Pate NP, Kona Home Team, Kona Pet Gal, Nutrex/BioAstin, Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, Adaptations -Community Supported Agriculture, Edible Hawaiian Islands Magazine, KeOla Magazine, Kona Brewing Company, and The Wave.

The Best of Kona Festival organizers are Julie Ziemelis, Ziemelis Communications and creator of 365Kona/ 365 Things to Do in Kona, Nichole Lear, owner of 45 Degrees North and creator of the Big Island Guide and Aesha Shapiro, owner of Aesha Rose Event and Design and creator of the Ladies Artisan Market.