Kohala Coast, Hawai‘i – More than 250 people turned out to tap their toes and relax in the courtyard at The Shops of Mauna Lani on Friday evening, as Kohala’s own award-winning musician Nino Kaai and Kahua filled the night air with island sounds and quips galore. The mostly local crowd snacked on free macadamia nuts from Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company, and encouraged a handful of attendees who spontaneously broke into dance on the lawn.
The free, two-hour performance marked the successful debut of a new music series dubbed “First Fridays at The Shops.” The Kohala Coast center hosts free performances at its outdoor stage on the first Friday evening of every month.
“The Shops is providing the community a free monthly event to relax and enjoy,” said Bill Borkan, owner of The Shops at Mauna Lani. “This is world-class, local talent that people usually pay to see. It’s especially rewarding, particularly when times are so tight. I hope this becomes a real happening each month.”
The concert series features a diverse array of local sounds, from contemporary Hawaiian to jazz. Kaai and friends return for the first Friday in May, with popular jazz cat Bill Noble taking the stage in June.
First Fridays at The Shops schedule:
- May 1 – Nino Kaai & Kahua
- June 5 – Bill Noble Jazz Band
- July 3 – Bill Noble Jazz Band
- August 7 – To Be Announced
- September 4 – To Be Announced
Opened in 2006, The Shops at Mauna Lani is home to fine dining and unique shopping, including an array of art galleries, fashion and lifestyle boutiques, jewelry and specialty stores. Dining establishments include Tommy Bahama’s Tropical Café, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Kenichi Pacific and Dara’s Thai Cuisine. The Shops is also home to Starbucks Coffee, Marble Slab Creamery and Foodland Farms gourmet market. For more information call (808) 885-9501 or visit www.shopsatmaunalani.com.