ʻImiloa’s 15th birthday celebration goes outdoors

  • 'Imiloa Astronomy Center.

The public is invited to join ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii in celebrating 15 years of exploration beginning Saturday and continuing through March 19. Sponsored by KTA Super Stores, this year’s birthday theme, Celebrating Our Great Outdoors, will be a month-long event filled with hands-on learning opportunities and virtual engagement, encouraging Hawaii Island families to explore nature and the outdoor spaces across the island, both online and physically.

“We’re very excited to be celebrating ‘Imiloa’s 15th anniversary and welcome everyone to participate in the activities that we have planned,” said Executive Director Ka‘iu Kimura. “This year, we’re celebrating the great outdoors and Hawaii Island — the amazingly rich and diverse island that we call home.”


The birthday celebration will start off with a goodie bag pick up at ‘Imiloa on Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m. Island residents can drive-up to the front door and receive a bag that includes a specially developed Palapala Holoholo — our explorer’s journal, an ‘Imiloa Explorer Kit, individually packaged KTA cookies and a kalo plant ready for planting from the ‘Imiloa garden. When attending the birthday drive-up, participants are asked to remain in their vehicles while ‘Imiloa staff hand off birthday supplies through the passenger window.

The word “palapala” in Hawaiian is representative of any kind of documentation; to write, to journal, and even to print or make drawings or designs. The word “holoholo” in Hawaiian means to go for a walk, ride, sail, or stroll; it is meant for leisurely adventures and pleasant travels. The Palapala Holoholo is a journal filled with tips, trails, ‘Imiloa-curated activities and safety information that encourages participants to explore four outdoor hiking spots across the island – Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Kaulana Manu Nature Trail, Pololu Valley, and the Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a Dry Land Forest.

The ‘Imiloa Explorer Kit is a complement to the Palapala Holoholo filled with six different crafts to stimulate and assist keiki in active observation while exploring these unique parts of the island.

Following the 20th birthday drive-up, ‘Imiloa will be sharing more birthday goodie bags to the public at several KTA locations across the island on select Saturdays. “We are excited to host ‘Imiloa’s birthday pop-up stations at our stores and encourage everyone to check them out when they are here,” said Toby Taniguchi, President and COO of KTA Super Stores. “We wish ‘Imiloa many more years of success and birthday celebrations. Happy birthday and congratulations, ‘Imiloa!”

A more extensive digital version of the Palapala Holoholo as well as free downloadable prints and tutorial videos for crafts from the ‘Imiloa Explorer Kit are available on www.imiloahawaii.org.

Interested individuals are also encouraged to enter social media contests that will be promoted throughout the month-long event. Be sure to follow ‘Imiloa on Facebook (‘Imiloa Astronomy Center) and Instagram (@imiloaastronomycenter). Details for contest entries and prizes, KTA pop-up dates and Saturday’s birthday drive-up can also be found at www.imiloahawaii.org.


“We want to thank KTA Super Stores for their continued support of ‘Imiloa, and in particular our birthday,” says Kimura. “KTA provides invaluable support to not only ‘Imiloa, but to numerous organizations and schools throughout our island community.”

‘Imiloa Astronomy Center is a community outreach, multi-service organization of the University of Hawaii at Hilo dedicated to serving local and visitor communities through quality Hawaiian language and culture-based enrichment programs that focus on local science research, cultural advancement and environmental stewardship.

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