Avocado Festival Next Weekend

Media Release:

Marking its fifth anniversary, the Hawai‘i Avocado Festival celebrates five years of fun with a pre-event dinner Friday, Feb. 18 at the Keauhou Beach Resort. Open to the public, the dinner is the eve before the day-long festival and offers a unique avocado-themed menu, art show and auction. Tickets are $55.

The Hawai’i Avocado Festival is 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19.  The free community, Zero Waste event is at the Amy B. H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden on Hwy. 11 in Captain Cook and offers a wealth of activities for attendees of all ages.

“The dinner is a fundraiser so we can continue to keep the Hawai‘i Avocado Festival free,” says event founder Randyl Rupar. “The silent auction will also benefit the Kona Pacific Public Charter School.”

Dubbed, an Avocado-Inspired Deliciously Local Dinner, the menu was custom-created by Keauhou Beach Executive Chef Cy Yamamoto, a grad of Hawai‘i Community College-West Hawai‘i. Award-winning recipes from past Avocado Festivals will be included in the feast. Attendees will enjoy nine-different dishes, including gazpacho with avocado relish, seared ahi and avocado parfait, avocado and cherry couscous, Cajun mahimahi with avocado cream, crab and avocado macaroni and cheese plus avocado cheesecake.

The dinner is 5-9 p.m. and diners will be serenaded by live music. The art show will feature works created by past festival poster artists—Stephanie Bolton in 2009 and Shirley Pu Wills in 2010—plus 2011 artist Francene Hart.

Dinner tickets can be purchased starting February 1 at Divine Goods, the Kona Pacific Public Charter School and brownpaperticket.com.

The free Avocado Festival Saturday offers demonstrations on fruit tree grafting and growing, an avocado recipe contest, free guacamole sampling, farmer’s market, arts and crafts, a variety of healing arts, an eco fashion show and a full lineup of performing arts.

Also on tap will be a panel discussion titled “Bringing the Culture Back to Agriculture” with Dr. Ted Radovich, University of Hawai‘i; Ken Love, president of the statewide Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers Association; Colehour Bondera, Slow Food Hawaii delegate to Italy’s Terre Madre 2010; and Melanie Bondera of Kanalani Farm. Dessert master Hector Wong of Honolulu, who is known for his elaborate cakes, will wow foodies with a demonstration on making Hawaiian Avocado/Potato Pie while using 90 percent Hawaii-sourced ingredients.

Avocado/Potato Pie

Also on display will be original festival art by Francene Hart, “Golden Spiral Avocados.” The art will be sold on organic cotton T-shirts and Hart will be available to sign the official commemorative festival poster that will be available for purchase.

Last year’s all-day event attracted 3,000 attendees. For information, contact Randyl Rupar at 808-936-5233 or visit www.manakeasanctuary.org.

The 2011 Hawai‘i Avocado Festival is sponsored by Sanctuary of Mana Ke‘a Gardens, Amy B. H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden, Hawai‘i Tropical Fruit Growers-West Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Health Guide, ACF Kona Kohala Chefs Association, recyclehawaii.org, Zero Waste, Divine Goods, Island Naturals and Kona Business Center.

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