North Kona

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An Insider’s Guide to the 2016 Kona Coffee Cultural Festival

bag of coffee kona coffee cultural festival

This Friday, November 4 through Sunday, November 15, you have the opportunity to experience a piece of Hawaiian heritage during the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival. Since the festival’s foundation in 1970, it has brought together coffee artisans and enthusiasts from all over the world to celebrate the Big Island’s rich coffee culture. Coffee has been a staple crop on the islands for over 200 years and the festival marks celebration of the annual harvest. This year, you can enjoy 10 days of cultural fun and over 40 different events. We attend the festival every year and have put together our list of can’t-miss events to help you prioritize and get the most of out this fun-filled event.

1) Kona Historical Society – Kona Coffee Living History Farm Tour at Kona Coffee Living History Farm (Occurs daily at 10am and 3pm)

Tour a historic coffee farm and learn how this crop became an integral part of Hawaiian culture during the early 20th century. Learn how coffee pioneers used tools like the kuriba and hoshidana to harvest and dry their beans. As you meander through the coffee plants, you might even meet a Kona Nightingale. More info here.

2) KONA COFFEE CULTURAL FESTIVAL CUPPING COMPETITION–FINALS
(November 10, 2016 @ 8:30 am – 1:30 pm)”

Local coffee farms both big and small meet to compete for bragging rights during this annual cupping competition. Judges test each cup side by side in a tasting event and vote on who makes the best cup of coffee on the island. The event is held at the Keauhou Shopping Center where you can meet the farmers and participate in the tasting.


3) KONA COFFEE CULTURAL DEMONSTRATIONS & WORKSHOPS

(Occurs daily at 9:30 am – 3:00 pm)

Learn how to make a traditional Hawaiian lei at this hands-on workshop. You’ll learn about cultural crafts like Hawaiian quilt-making, weaving, Japanese calligraphy, and more. This event is great for families with young kids who will love taking home and showing off their projects.

4) KONA COFFEE CULTURAL FESTIVAL LANTERN PARADE

(November 11, 2016 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm)

The lantern parade in historic Kailua village is a beautiful display of light and color. Over 200 lamps fill the streets during the procession to Hale Hawaii where it kicks off an evening of music and dancing. Musicians include many local artists and traditional music making it a cultural event to remember.

We hope you enjoy the festival! It’s part of Hawaii’s deeply-rooted heritage and is one more thing to love about living on the big island.

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