people gathered at the entrance
The ʻImiloa‘s 13th birthday drew 2,500 attendees.

The ʻImiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaiʻi, part of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, celebrated its 13th anniversary on February 24 with a free event for the community, which drew 2,500 attendees.

In anticipation of UH Hilo’s proposed bachelor of science in aeronautical degree program, “aviation” was the theme of this year’s celebration at the world-class center for informal science education, sponsored by KTA Super Stores.

The event featured birthday cake for the first 1,000 attendees, live presentations/demonstrations by pilots and professionals in the aviation industry, flight simulation demos, hands-on “make and take” activity stations, full-dome presentations on aeronautics-related topics, aviation data visualization talks in the Exhibit Hall, scavenger hunt, drone-flying demonstrations and more.

“As in the past, this special event also saluted the cornerstone role which KTA Super Stores has played in supporting ʻImiloa’s educational and cultural outreach throughout our 13-year history,” said Kaʻiu Kimura, ʻImiloa’s executive director. “We are very grateful to KTA Super Stores for sponsoring the event and allowing the center to be open free of charge on our 13th birthday celebration!”

“We are so thrilled to have partnered with various organizations across the community such as Maunakea Observatories, Hawaiian Airlines, Civil Air Patrol, STARBASE Hawaiʻi, UH Hilo and many others who helped to celebrate the beginning of our teenage years and continue to support the growth of UH Hilo’s degree programs,” Kimura added.

About ʻImiloa Astronomy Center

The ʻImiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaiʻi is a world-class center for informal science education located on the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo campus. Its centerpiece is a 12,000 sq. ft. exhibit hall, showcasing astronomy and Hawaiian culture as parallel journeys of human exploration guided by the light of the stars. The visitor experience is amplified with programming using ʻImiloa’s full-dome planetarium and 9 acres of native landscape gardens. The center welcomes approximately 100,000 visitors each year, including 10,000+ schoolchildren on guided field trips and other educational programs. For more information, visit

Young attendee with a picture of an airplane