Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival Dedicated to the Late Anne Field-Gomes

The 20th Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival on Saturday, Feb. 2 is dedicated to the late Anne Field-Gomes. The Waimea resident served on numerous community organizations, including the Cherry Blossom Festival’s organizing committee. Mrs. Field-Gomes died October 23; she was 84.

Anne Field-Gomes and her husband David

Anne Field-Gomes and her husband David

Field-Gomes and her husband, David, will be recognized at the festival’s opening ceremony. Time is 9 a.m. on the entertainment stage at the rear of Parker Ranch Center.

“Anne was the hostess for the Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival; she’d walk among the venues to make sure all was going well,” says Roxcie Waltjen, festival coordinator, who serves as the culture and education administrator for Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation. “Both Anne and David were very involved and supportive of the festival.”

A dedicated volunteer, Field-Gomes was selected as the female Outstanding Older American for Hawai‘i Island in 1999. She was active for 20 years in AARP’s Tax Aid program and also volunteered for the Waimea Community Association, the South Kohala Traffic Safety Committee, the Friends of Thelma Parker Library and Trails and Greenways.

The Honolulu native was a 10-year volunteer at North Hawai‘i Community Hospital, working in the materials division, and she was active with the Hawaii County Democratic Party. She was also a member of St. James Church, Imiola Congregational Church, the Waimea Outdoor Circle and the Waimea Pupule Papale Red Hat Club.

Field-Gomes moved to the Big Island in 1986.  Anne and David Gomes were married in 1989 during a square dance at Waimea’s Kahilu Town Hall, the same year Anne moved to Waimea.

“Anne enjoyed participating in the community and recruited me for many of her activities,” says David Gomes.

In addition to honoring Anne and David Gomes, the festival will mark its 20th year with an anniversary exhibit, entertainment by some of the festival’s first performers and a commemorative poster, which will be offered for sale.

For two decades, the free community festival has showcased the 60-year-old cherry trees planted at Church Row Park and the Japanese tradition of viewing them—hanami. The event, held annually the first Saturday of February, includes a variety of activities 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at venues throughout Waimea—look for pink banners identifying site locations from the Parker Ranch Historic Homes on Mamalahoa Hwy. 190 to the Hawaiian Homestead Farmer’s Market on Hwy. 19.

Spend the day to experience an all-day lineup of Japanese and multi-cultural performing arts, plus hands-on demonstrations of bonsai, origami, traditional tea ceremony, fun mochi pounding and a host of colorful craft fairs. Enjoy free shuttle transportation among most venues. For info, 808-961-8706.

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