Activate Puna Block Party is Saturday

  • Courtesy image Some of the more than 3,000 Puna Strong flags that will be installed for the Activate Puna Block Party on Saturday in Pahoa.

  • Courtesy of ANDREW HARA The “Above and Beneath” mural can be seen in this photo of the Pahoa Community Aquatic Center.

The public is invited to the Activate Puna Block Party from 4-10 p.m. Saturday, May 11.

Pahoa Village Road between Akeakamai and Kauhale will be closed to vehicular traffic from noon-11 p.m. to accommodate the event.

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The block party celebrates the community’s unity and strength one year after the Kilauea eruption. It will feature two stages of entertainment, a “Puna Strong” flags exhibit, live floral installations, mural unveils, creative vendors, food pop-ups and more.

The event is open to all, with a suggested donation of $5, and free for keiki 12 and younger. All funds raised will go to organizations in Puna that uplift the community including Bodacious Women, The Pahoa Schools Foundation, Malama o Puna, Mainstreet Pahoa Association and Kua O Ka La Charter School.

People are encouraged to bring chairs to sit and enjoy performances by Jennie and Kanoa, Boom Draw, Positive Motion, Uncle’s Awa Band with Ikaika Marzo, Loeka Longakit and the Sound Mind Band and more.

Parking is available in the Pahoa District Park parking lot; carpooling and ride sharing is encouraged.

Activate Puna is a community revitalization and pono placemaking project that brings people together for enriching experiences.

At its core, Activate Puna is a desire to shine a light on Puna’s people, culture and stories, spur economic activity, build social cohesion, beautify community spaces and showcase Puna’s identity — strong, resilient and resourceful.

Activations are set to take place in Puna throughout 2019.

Activate Puna kicked off with a mural at the Pahoa Community Aquatic Center. ‘Above and Beneath’ is a 3,000-square-foot public art piece inspired by Puna’s changing landscape captured through the lens of Andrew Hara during the 2018 Kilauea eruption. The artwork is by David ‘MEGGS’ Hooke and pays homage to the island’s celestial elements of earth, wind and fire.

A large-scale mural also is near completion at Pahoa High and Intermediate School. Designed by Kailii Kaulukukui, it was inspired by PHIS students’ interpretation of what makes Puna unique, mauka to makai, and what resiliency looks like. Students also were given opportunities to paint alongside the artist during the painting process.

A food activation — Taste of Puna — also is planned for this fall to elevate area farmers, tastemakers and the island’s agricultural scene.

Activate Puna is driven by County Councilwoman Ashley Kierkiewicz and the Council District 4 team. More than three dozen community members are involved in the planning and execution of the Activate Puna series.

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The initiative is part of a larger effort to activate the Big Island. The idea is to create a model for community engagement and empowerment that can be duplicated in communities around the island.

For more information, visit www.hawaiicounty.gov/activatepuna.

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