6th Annual Hawaii Avocado Festival Coming Up

The sixth annual Hawai‘i Avocado Festival celebrates the versatile, native American fruit with three days of events February 16-18 in Kona.

First on tap is the Amp Up with Avocado! Reception 5-9 p.m. Thursday Feb. 16 at the Kalanikai Bar & Grill at the Keauhou Beach Resort. The evening event is a benefit for the festival and Kona Pacific Public Charter School. Enjoy a silent auction, avocado-themed pupus, Kona Brewery beer, music by Nahko of Medicine for the People and dancing for a $15 donation at the door.

Photo by Randy Magnus

Festival fun moves to Kealakekua Bay Bed and Breakfast Friday, Feb. 17 for a Farm-to-Fork Hawaii Dinner. The menu of the five-course, avocado-inspired meal is by Chef Devin Lowder of When Pigs Fly Island Charcuterie. Dessert Chef Hector Wong of My Yellow Kitchen in Honolulu will prepare a seven-layer avo dessert. Seating is limited and a portion of the $85 price benefits the festival. For reservations, phone 328-8150.

Photo by Randy Magnus

The celebration culminates Saturday, Feb. 18 with the family-friendly 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Hawai‘i Avocado Festival at the Keauhou Beach Resort. The free, community event offers a wealth of activities for attendees of all ages sprawling throughout the resort’s grounds.

Get tips on growing and grafting avocado trees, plus trees will be on sale for the home orchard. Leading the educational botanical sessions is a team of University of Hawai‘i staff: Dr. Ted Radovich, assistant specialist, Sustainable and Organic Farming Systems Laboratory; Dr. Mark Nickum, assistant professor, Sustainable Farming Systems, Tropical Fruit and Nut Crops; and Andrea Kawabata, assistant agent, coffee and orchards with UH Manoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. Continuing the discussion from last year’s festival, Dr. Radovich will again lead a panel in deliberating the topic, “Bringing the Culture Back to Agriculture.”

Photo by Randy Magnus

Enjoy free avocado sushi rollups—while they last—by West Hawai‘i Community College culinary students and an avocado recipe contest. Chef Matt Dulin, Denver sushi guru at Elways Restaurant, is overseeing the contest with competition for Best Guacamole, Best Entrée, Best Dessert and People’s Choice. Find entry and prize details at www.avocadofestival.org.

Chef Hector Wong will demonstrate how to make a seven-tier Chocolate Oblivion Cake while using organic Hawaii Island avocado and Keauhou’s Original Hawaiian Chocolate—which is totally grown and made on the Big Isle.

Also on tap are over 80 artisan and food booths, a farmer’s market, a variety of healing arts, alterative energy demonstrations and a full lineup of performing arts headlined by Bolo, Maka and Nahko of Medicine for the People. Volunteers with Kona Pacific Public Charter School are coordinating keiki activities.

This year’s original festival art is by Antoinette Sharfin, “Illuminature.” The art will be sold on organic cotton T-shirts and Sharfin will be available to sign the official commemorative festival poster that will be available for purchase.

For information, contact Randyl Rupar at 808-936-5233.

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