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Got Guac?

The free, eighth annual Hawai‘i Avocado Festival is 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, April 5 on the Bayfront lawn of the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa.

Got Guac?

Got Guac? Photo by Sonia Martinez

Catering to families, the event has something for everyone: non-stop entertainment, culinary and agricultural activities, plus keiki fun.

Enjoy a farmer’s market; arts and crafts booths and tasty-avocado themed cuisine prepared by food vendors and Sheraton’s culinary team. This year’s festival art is by Kona artist Jan Salerno and available on posters and organic cotton t-shirts.

An updated lineup for the entertainment stage is opening pule by Kumu Danny Akaka and hula at 10 a.m., Aunt Irma’s Kahikina Nahe Nahe at 11 a.m., Bolo at noon, Manuel and Bernice at 1 p.m. and eco-chic vegan fashion show by Gentle Aloha Feast at 2 p.m. Students of the youth mentoring group Incense will model designs by Huluwuwu, Lulie’s and Nohea Hawaii to the music of hip hop artist Pana. Live entertainment continues until 5 p.m.

Learn how to graft avocados at 11 a.m. and hear a panel discussion on “Keeping the Culture in Agriculture” at noon. Get the scoop all day on different avocado varieties at an informative display by the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers.

A 2-4 p.m. composting workshop focuses on basic backyard techniques and working with worms. Those who finish the workshop will get a free composting bin.

The avocado recipe contest offers competition in appetizers, entrees, desserts and vegan. Judging is 10 a.m. with public tasting at noon and announcement of winners at 1 p.m. First place winners will receive prizes from Island Naturals and Kealakekua Ranch Center. Entry form, rules and instructions can be found at www.avocadofestival.org or phone 963-6860.

Hands-on fun for families includes games for keiki, free avocado and vegan products sampling and visits with Recycle Hawai’i’s live mascot, Recycle Dog. In addition, 200 healthy, raw treats will be served to attending keiki as part of the local Feed the Children project. Keiki and adults can also paint silk banners “to banish childhood hunger.”

For festival updates, visit Big Island Avocado Festivals on Facebook, contact Randyl Rupar at 936-5233 or visit www.avocadofestival.org.

Hawaii Avocado and Mango Festivals are sponsored by Sanctuary of Mana Kea Gardens, Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers-West Hawaii and Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay.

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.

2009 Avocado Festival This Weekend


Live Music and Entertainment, local vendors,

Farmer’s Market, Arts & Crafts, Keiki games,

Agricultural displays, lectures, demos, etc.

Free Guacamole!!! Fresh Fruits, Juices, Organic Foods

Kava drinks offered by the Sanctuary of Mana Ke’a Gardens

1st Place Prizes for:

Best Guacamole, Best Dessert, Best Recipe

All recipes available for tasting after judging

“The Hawaii Avocado Festival is a great way to learn about all the wonderful healthful ways to enjoy the selection of avocado’s in Hawaii” said event coordinator Randyl Rupar. ” You’ll be amazed at the different tastes and uses of many varieties grown here in Hawaii”.

“Avocados are amazingly healthy and are used in delicious deserts, applied as beauty products, and are very nutritious” said Michael Saiz of Hawaii Health Guide, one of the events many sponsors, “We’re excited to support a such a great event which educates the community and celebrates the avocado as sustainable agricultural food source for Hawaii”.

Exhibitor and vendor booths are available to educate, sell or promote products and services to visitors and local residents attending the festival.  Contact (808) 334-3340 for more information.

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