Kona Coffee Culture Festival celebrates 50 years: virtual in-person events begin today

Hawaii’s oldest food festival will celebrate its 50th anniversary with virtual and in-person events starting today.

The 50th annual Kona Coffee Culture Festival is preparing an innovative new format this year honoring the festival’s many traditions while prioritizing the health and safety of attendees.

“Over the past 50 years, the Kona Coffee Culture Festival has had to overcome many obstacles in order to survive. None of these obstacles compare to holding a festival during a pandemic. Our Board of Directors and Committees have been innovative in designing a framework of events that attendees can safely attend in person and others that we film and broadcast online. It’s time to toast the roast, and we look forward to seeing you in person or virtually during the festival, ”said Valery Corcoran, President of the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival.

From today, tours of Kona’s coffee farms take center stage.

Tours will be available to UCC Hawaii Estate Farm, Greenwell Farms, and Kona Historical Society’s Kona Coffee Living History Farm to learn more about how coffee is grown in Kona.

King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel is the place to visit for a multitude of daily events, cultural activities, and live performances by local artists. The Quilt Show, Kona Coffee 101 Seminar, and Kona Coffee Tasting Booths will also be held at the hotel.

One of the highlights of the festival is the “Kona People” art exhibition at the Donkey Mill Art Center. This curated exhibit pairs artists with Kona farmers to create works that convey the spirit of the “Kona people”.

A world of talent is on stage at the Sugai Kona Coffee Talent Night, with multicultural musical offerings and breathtaking dance performances.

On Friday, Kona Coffee Latte Art Throwdown at Kona Coffee & Tea Company features local baristas working their magic with 100% Kona Coffee.

The 100% Pure Kona Coffee Half Marathon will start on Saturday at 6 am, with a descent on Alii Drive from Coconut Grove to “End of the World” in Keauhou and back.

The popular Holualoa Village Coffee and Art Stroll returns this year. Spend the morning strolling through art galleries, sampling the freshly brewed flavors of 20 Kona coffee farms, and shopping with local vendors.

The Kona Ho’olaule’a Coffee Culture Festival will feature quilt exhibits, a lei contest, a Kona Historical Society exhibit, a memorial lantern exhibit and festival merchandise.

A $ 5 festival admission button is required for events and also gives special rates for paid events. Buttons are available for purchase online, at many stores and farms throughout the Kona area.

Virtual events will also take place starting today with the Opening Blessing Ceremony featuring program highlights and welcome messages from Hawaii County Mayor Mitch Roth, Festival President. Valerie Corcoran and other dignitaries. Hula dancers from Halau Kala’akeakauikawiki will perform with Lacey Deniz and Eddie O from Kona as virtual hosts.

Other notable events in the virtual program include the highly anticipated UCC Hawaii Miss Kona Coffee Scholarship Competition. An official preliminary competition for the Miss Hawaii and Miss America organization, contestants compete in private interviews, onstage questions and social impact pitch, red carpet and talent.

Those who log into the festival from electronic devices can see the Kona Coffee Tasting Contest Awards Ceremony, Kona Coffee Tasting Seminar, Greenwell Farms Seed to Cup Tour, UCC Hawaii Estate Farm, Kona Historical Society’s Kona Living History Farm Tour, Cultural Activities and Artist Demonstrations, Kona Coffee Latte Art Throwdown, Lantern Parade and Bon Dance, KTA Super Stores Cooking Demonstrations, UCC Hawaii Miss Kona Coffee Scholarship Pageant and the Little Miss Kona Coffee Scholarship Program.

For a full list of in-person and virtual event listings, pick up a festival magazine, which was featured in the Oct. 26 edition of West Hawaii Today, or visit konacoffeefest.com.

Virtual ticket prices vary depending on the event. Tickets can be purchased at www.konacoffefest.com.

Darcy J. Skinner

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