Categorized | Entertainment

Kalani to host LGBT Pride celebration (July 3)


The Anuenue Freedom Festival held Sunday, July 3 at Kalani will be the Big Island’s only LGBT Pride celebration this year.

Featuring entertainment and events throughout the day such as ecstatic dance, a pool party, wellness samples and market stalls, the festival will culminate in cabaret-themed performances and fireworks at night.

President of Hawaii Island Pride Jen Johansen said low volunteer numbers have contributed to the lack of a Pride event taking place this year in Hilo or Kailua-Kona.

“Currently Hawaii Island Pride is in an ‘inactive’ status, so we are delighted that the Anuenue Freedom Festival will serve as the Big Island’s celebration of diversity and LGBT rights this year,” she said.

Kalani co-founder and Director Richard Koob said while it is unfortunate the Big Island’s east and west coasts will not host their own Pride events, the lineup of entertainment and events to be offered at the Anuenue Freedom Festival will make up for the lack of other Pride events on the island.

“Anuenue means rainbow in the Hawaiian language, so on Sunday, July 3, you’ll find all the colors of the community rainbow coming together for one big celebration,” Koob said. “Attending a Pride event is a great way for everyone to celebrate freedom, human rights, equality, and diversity. The Anuenue Freedom Festival is important not only for the island’s LGBT members, but also the community at large.”

LGBT Pride began June 28, 1969 with the Stonewall Riots, when a group of community members fought back against the discrimination and arbitrary persecution of gay, lesbian and transgender people.

Today thousands of Pride events around the world celebrate and remember the power of communities coming together to affect positive change.

“Kalani extends its aloha and invitation to come to the beautiful Puna coast and celebrate diversity with us on July 3,” Koob said.

The festival also marks the 36th anniversary of Kalani, and director Richard Koob’s 65th birthday.

Kalani is offering a special kamaaina rate on accommodation starting at $40 per person per night for those wishing to make the most of their July 4th holiday weekend with a relaxing extended stay in the region.

Admission to the Anuenue Freedom Festival is $10 for the Pride-themed ecstatic dance, and $10 for the cabaret/fireworks. Either admission includes access to the afternoon pool party.

To reserve rooms or meals, call Kalani at (808) 965-7828, or email

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