HILO – The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation (HDOT) alerts travelers of busy times at airports as thousands ascend to Hawai‘i Island for the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival.
Hilo will host the huge event, considered to be the most prestigious hula competition in the world, April 12 to 15, 2023. The crowds are expected to be back to pre-pandemic levels. The schedule of Merrie Monarch festivities and modified traffic patterns during the festival and parade are posted at https://www.merriemonarch.com/news/
HDOT advises those heading to Merrie Monarch from neighbor island airports to consider catching a ride to the airport, because parking stalls fill up during busy travel times. More information on public parking and the number of available stalls follows:
- Daniel K. Inouye International Airport = 5,500 stalls https://airports.hawaii.gov/hnl/getting-to-from/parking/
- Kahului Airport = 1,650 stallshttps://airports.hawaii.gov/ogg/getting-to-from/parking/
- Lῑhu‘e Airport = 570 stalls https://airports.hawaii.gov/lih/getting-to-from/parking/
When leaving Hilo, travelers are advised to arrive at least two hours before their flight. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has created a series of videos to help you before you go through security checkpoints. See https://airports.hawaii.gov/hnl/flights/tsa-travel-tips/ for a collection and link to additional TSA resources.
Those departing Hilo are also advised to leave all ʻōhiʻa flowers, leaves, and plant parts on Hawaiʻi Island to reduce the spread of Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death (ROD). Warning signs about the fungal disease that has killed more than one million native ʻōhiʻa trees will be posted inside the Hilo Airport (ITO). To learn more about ROD visit the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture page here.