In celebration of King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV's birthday (July 4th), the Heilala Festival includes traditional music, dance, and cultural activities, as well as competitive events, and includes the Miss Galaxy Pageant. It concludes with a parade through Nuku'alofa.

The festival is sponsored mainly by local companies and noble families.

It is named for the heilala. It also coincides with Tupakapakanava