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Local stories and information about Kauai events, music festivals, kids activities, arts culture and more.

Kauai County Farm Bureau Fair

It’s that time of year on Kauai again! The Kauai County Farm Bureau Fair only comes once a year for four festive days on the Garden Isle. Bringing locals and visitors a taste of a mainland-style carnival, “the Fair” is an event for all ages. It’s happening Thursday, August 24th 2017 through Sunday, August 27th 2017 at Vidinha Stadium. More info about fair hours are located at the bottom of this blog, and on the Kauai Farm Fair website.

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The Agricultural Exhibit Tent is eye-candy for all lovers of flora and fauna. Peek at the Fruit and Vegetable Show, which opens Thursday, August 24th from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM. The prize winning fruits and veggies will be displayed. On Saturday, August 26th, Kauai woodworkers will be showcasing their skills with tropical woods from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Also on Saturday, is the highly anticipated Orchid Growing for Beginners seminar, from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM. The class will be presented by Neill Sams of the Garden Island Orchid Society.

If you’re taking your little ones to the Kauai Farm Fair, the Livestock Tent is a must-visit. It holds the petting zoo and a range of farm animals participating in the Livestock Show. For only $2.00 per person, anyone can cuddle with the bunnies, chickens, and even piglets scampering around the petting zoo. The larger of the livestock are enclosed in their own pens for “looking but not touching”.

The Kauai Farm Fair wouldn’t be complete without its rides and attractions. All ages are catered to on the classic Ferris wheel, giving its riders a birds-eye view on its gentle rotations. If you’re feeling brave, the Pharaoh’s Fury is my personal favorite. It’s a giant “ship” that rocks you high to the sky and low again, mimicking the sensation of a free fall. The ultimate thrill-seekers will enjoy the Zipper, a spinning cage ride that’s not for the faint of heart. A full list of the rides offered at the Kauai Farm Fair is also available on their website.

There are an abundance of delicious food options for those searching to dine at the Kauai Farm Fair. Besides the traditional carnival treats such as cotton candy and soft pretzels, healthier alternatives can be found at numerous food booths. The Quinoa Bowl from the Island School booth is one of my top vegetarian choices. And the Hanalei Taro Truck’s mouthwatering kalua pig bowl is a local-style favorite.

To boot, the live entertainment selection is always varied and full of Kauai’s local talent. Be sure to check the fair website for this year’s current lineup of performances.

In general, daytimes at the fair are full of families and younger keiki, while nighttime brings around the teens. The Kauai Farm Fair is a family-friendly event for all to connect and explore the Kauai culture. You can bet you’ll find me near the caramel apple booth (yum)! Rides, food, and fun galore!

2017 Fair Hours

Thursday, August 24: 6:00 PM – midnight
Commercial and non-profit booths close at 11:00 PM

Friday, August 25: 6:00 PM – midnight
Commercial and non-profit booths close at 11:00 PM

Saturday, August 26: 12:00 noon – midnight
Commercial and non-profit booths close at 11:00 PM

Sunday, August 27: 12:00 noon – 11:00 PM
Commercial and non-profit booths and agricultural areas close between 2:00 PM and 5:00 PM.

Hours & info from the Kauai County Farm Bureau Fair website.

Kauai Sand Castle Contest on Hanalei Bay

sand castle kauaiLooking for a fun family event on Kauai? Most weekends on Kauai include at least some time playing at the beach with family and friends. So why not head down to Hanalei Bay this Saturday Aug 2nd and participate in the 2014 Hawaii Sand Festival and Contest.

Time to get creative and build your own sand castle or sand art and enjoy some island the music. Individuals or teams of any size are welcome to create their vision and enjoy a day at the beach as sand artists.

Bring your own shovels, pails, tools, molds, sprayers (very helpful) for sculpting sand. Competitive divisions: Keiki under 12, Youth 12-17, Beginner level, Competitive level teams (including families.)

Who: Everyone
Cost: Free
Event Date: Saturday, Aug, 2nd 2014
Time: 11:00am – 4:00pm
Location: To the left of the Hanalei pier, to the right of Pavilions on Kauai, Google Map
City/Town: Hanalei, HI
FREE LESSON on sand creations from world renowned sand sculptor Jeff Peterson at 11:30 AM. Learn how the pros create those amazing castles. If you are already a pro come, spread your talent and show the impossible.
Realize your creative vision, get exercise, and work together with others. Prizes will be awarded for different age groups, individuals, teams and types of art. Take a break and enjoy the sand, surf and sun with family and friends. Bring your own shovels, pails, tools, molds, sprayers (very helpful) for sculpting sand. Come up with an idea in advance. Make sure to bring your own hat or shade, sunscreen, food, drinking water and a squirt gun to help your friends cool off.
Not into sand castles? There will be GINORMOUS bubbles from Uncle Bubbles or feel free to fly a kite further down the beach. The Sand Festival is about being with ohana, working with the ‘aina and spreading aloha.
Schedule of events:
11:00 Free registration and start of the event.
11:30 Free lesson by world renowned sand sculpture and teacher Jeff Peterson.
3:30 Final judging.
4:00 Awards ceremony and Prizes


The Sand Festival is part of the non-profit INCF org. Please contact us if you or your company are interested in sponsoring a prize/prizes/surprises for this event.

Contact 808 639 8379

Kauai’s Red Clay Jazz Festival

Kauai Jazz Music FestivalKauai’s Red Clay Jazz Festival Adds More Blues and Jazz with a Hawaiian Flair

National and local jazz and blues artists play June 25-28 at the 7th Annual Red Clay Jazz Festival on Kauai with jam sessions, workshops and 2 concerts, one of them outdoors with an ocean view. This year’s line up features the 6-time Grammy Award winner Diane Shuur; nationally acclaimed blues band, Mississippi Heat; Hawaii Jazz Legends, Jimmy Borges and Betty Loo Taylor; and Hawaiian slack key and steel guitar musicians, Ken Emerson and Will Bernard. On June 25 & 26, local artists will play in free jam sessions at four different venues. Also on the 26th is a workshop conducted by featured artists. Friday night’s concert will provide outstanding music with a Hawaiian flair. The main outdoor concert is set for Saturday at Kauai Lagoons with a host of food booths by Kauai specialty restaurants. Enjoy exceptional music, food, wine and, at both concerts, Koloa Rum drinks. Tent seating is available or bring beach chairs. For tickets and more information go to http://redclayjazz.org.
A special combined rate will be offered for both Friday and Saturday’s concerts. Funded, in part by HTA and Kauai County

Wednesday, June 25th

Red Clay Jazz Festival Jam Session

Enjoy straight ahead jazz with Treysara, one of Kauai’s exceptional jazz trios featuring Trey Thompson on Bass, Tony Rodarte on Drums and Rick Avallone on keyboard along with vocalist Sara Thompson. Treysara will play at the Common Ground restaurant in Kilauea from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. No charge. Location: 4900 Kuawa Rd, Kilauea, HI 96754

Hear the Mark Pulice Trio play straight ahead jazz at Kukuiula Shopping Village, with Pulice on drums accompanied by bass and keyboard. The trio will play at the outdoor courtyard from 5:30 to 7 p.m. next to Merriman’s restaurant No charge.

Thursday, June 26th

Red Clay Jazz Festival Educational Workshop – The Art of Song, Slide Guitar and Harmonica: Three workshops are on tap for aspiring song-writers, slide guitar musicians and harmonica players. Jimmy Borges, one of Hawaii’s premier jazz performers will conduct a workshop titled, “Song the Perfect Language.” Another workshop by master lap guitar and slack key musicians, Ken Emerson and Will Bernard will surround the art of slide guitar jazz. Pierre Lacocque, leader of the Chicago-based blues band, Mississipi Heat, is leading a hands-on workshop about various harmonica techniques. Cost: $10.

Red Clay Festival Jazz Jam Sessions

Hear jazz and blues with a Latin flair by the 11-piece band, “Rumba de Fuego” who will be jamming at Aloha Beach Resort’s Kuhio Lounge from 5:30 to 7:30 or longer. No charge.

The Hank Curtis trio will play traditional jazz, with Hank Curtis playing piano, Michael Odo on bass and Marty Leonard on drums from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Kauai Marriott’s Aupaka Bar. No charge.

Friday, June 27

Red Clay Jazz Festival Evening Concert: Hawaii’s premier jazz performer Jimmy Borges and Hawaii’s “First Lady of Jazz,” Betty Loo Taylor are headlining a concert on Friday night at the Kauai Beach Resort, Jasmine Ballroom, starting at 7 p.m. Adding a Hawaiian flair to this exceptional evening of music will be Hawaiian slack key and steel guitar musicians, Ken Emerson and Will Bernard. According to Dan Ouellette of “Billboard, “Will Bernard is one of the best-kept jazz-guitar secrets on the planet.Ken Emerson plays both Hawaiian slack key and lap steel guitar and switches easily between them during his performance. Tickets are $30.

Saturday, June 28th

Red Clay Jazz Festival Outdoor Concert: A line up of premier jazz and blues artists will play late afternoon and early evening at an outdoor, ocean-view setting for the main Red Clay Jazz Festival event at Kauai Lagoons. Starting at 4 p.m., the concert features Grammy Award winner Diane Schuur; the nationally acclaimed Chicago-based blues band, Mississippi Heat and Kauai’s jazz specialists, Swing Shift with Dennis McGraw and David.  A key feature of Saturday’s concert is a host of food and beverage booths providing a mix of locally grown organic and specialty foods along with beer, wine and Koloa Rum drinks. Tent seating is available for Saturday’s concert or attendees may bring beach chairs. Ticket cost is $40 advance, $50 at the event. Coolers (outside food and beverage) are restricted.

May Day is Lei Day on Kauai

  • May Day Is Laie Day Kauai Style

May is here and the whisperings of spring are in the air.  What better way to kick off the month of May than by celebrating with beautiful flowers and the tradition of making and giving a lei.

The lei was first introduced to the Hawaiian Islands by early Polynesian voyagers, who traveled in sailing canoes from Tahiti. As part of Hawaiian tradition, garlands of flowers, seashells, seeds, nuts and colorful feathers, were worn by ancient Hawaiians to add beauty and to set themselves apart from each other.

Thirty-four years ago, Irmalee & Walter Pomroy founded Kauai Museum’s First Annual May Day Lei Contest. Irmalee was honored as a “Living Treasure” in 2002. The Kauai Museum along with the Pomroy family continue to honor the tradition.

Today is a celebration of tradition, culture and heritage of the lei. Come visit the Kauai Museum and take part in this colorful and fragrant tradition.

May Day Is Laie Day Kauai Style

Kauai Museum celebrates lei making on Kauai.

This year marks the 34th Annual Irmalee & Walter Pomeroy Lei Contest  Thursday, May 1,

Thursday, May 1

7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.    Receiving of Lei Entries on the Front Porch
9:00 a.m.                        Judging
9:30 a.m.                        Food Vendors, Live Entertainment, Make-a-Lei Lessons, Happy’s Lei Sale
11:00 a.m.                      Welcome Reception on the Front Porch
11:00 a.m.                     Museum Doors Open
3:30 p.m.                       Awards Ceremony
4:30 p.m.                       Lei Display Closes
4:45 p.m.                       Live Auction of Leis
5:00 p.m.                       Museum Closes

Annual Happy’s Keiki La Lei Contest held on Saturday, May 03, 2014.

8:30 a.m.                      Receiving of Lei Entries in the Courtyard
9:00 – 11:00 a.m.         Contestants Lei Making in the Courtyard
11:00 a.m.                    Judging
11:30 a.m.                    Awards Ceremony in the Main Gallery

Saturday May 10th May Day By The Bay

A day of Hawaiian music, hula, cultural demonstrations, food, crafts and silent auction.The setting is Waioli Beach Park also known as Pine Trees on the most beautiful Hanalei Bay.

Sunday May 25th  Banana Poka Round-Up

Education, and fun for the whole family at the 23rd annual Banana Poka Round-up. The Banana Poka is an invasive pest from South America. It is a threat to our native plants and the health of our native forest. Every year in Kanaloahuluhulu Meadow fronting the Kokee Museum a fun free outdoor family forest fair is held in Kokee State Park. Come and enjoy Hawaiian music, basket making, exhibitors, family hikes, as well as the Pedal to the Meadow bicycle race, crowing contest and more.

For updated events check back often at our Kauai Events Calendar



Prince Kuhio Celebration Kauai

Prince Kuhio Festival Kauai
Prince Kuhio Celebration Kauai Features Two Weeks of Native Hawaiian Cultural Events, March 15 – 29, 2014

During the last two weeks of March on Kauai daily events are in the line-up to honor Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole. Born on the south side of Kauai, Prince Kuhio is also known as Hawaii’s ‘Prince of the People’ for his efforts as a statesman to perpetuate Hawaiian cultural values and the Hawaiian people. Kuhio’s birthday is an official state holiday in Hawaii. Most events are free of charge to the public.

POIPU, KAUAI, –A multitude of events on Kauai are set for March 15-29, 2014, to celebrate Prince Kuhio’s birthday (an official state holiday in Hawaii). Kuhio was one of Hawaii’s most beloved ali’i (royalty) and statesmen. Spanning a two-week period the events are located in Poipu, Eleele, Lihue, and Wailua. The Prince Kuhio Celebration, intended to honor Kuhio and his efforts to foster Hawaiian cultural values, provides a long list of interactive educational sessions about Hawaiian cultural practices, arts and crafts. New to the line-up this year are the Makauwahi Cave Tour at Makauwahi Reserve, a treasure trove of indigenous and endemic plant species and archeological research. The Royal Order of Kamehameha has also added a tour of Prince Kuhio’s birthplace. Adding to the mix are many opportunities for entertainment, observing cultural traditions, attending luaus, a rodeo and an outrigger canoe race. Sampling local foods, hearing “talk story” sessions and viewing commemorative ceremonies are also part of the schedule. Check the website, http://princekuhio.net, for a complete event schedule.

Experts in lomilomi massage, salt-making, stone carving, feather arts, kapa (tapa) making, lei-making, coconut and lauhala weaving, healing arts, poi-pounding, quilting, moolelo (myths), and hula kahiko (ancient hula), among others, will be on hand March 22-24 at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa to teach Native Hawaiian cultural practices. Na Kupuna, a group of elders will also share stories, “talking-story” about everyday life. In addition, there will be sections where traditional Hawaiian children’s games will be taught.

Evening entertainment on the 23rd will feature the award winning slack-key guitarists and singers Ledward Ka`apana and Mike Ka`awa. This duo brings a strong mix of instrumental and vocal Hawaiian music, considered tops among slack key artists. The concert starts at 8 p.m. at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa.

These events are partially sponsored by the Hawaii Tourism Authority and Kauai County, along with the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa.

March 15-28 – Prince Kuhio Celebration
A multitude of events on Kauai are set for March 15-28, 2014, to celebrate Prince Kuhio’s birthday (an official state holiday in Hawaii). Kuhio was one of Hawaii’s most beloved alii (royalty) and statesmen. Spanning a two-week period the events Kuhio’s are located in Poipu, Eleele, Lihue, and Wailua. The Prince Kuhio Celebration, intended to honor Kuhio and his efforts to foster Hawaiian cultural values, provides a long list of interactive educational sessions about Hawaiian cultural practices, arts and crafts. New to the line-up this year are the Makauwahi Cave Tour, a treasure trove of indigenous and endemic plant species and archeological research. The Royal Order of Kamehameha has also added a tour of Prince Kuhio’s birthplace. Adding to the mix are many opportunities for entertainment, observing cultural traditions, attending luaus, a rodeo and an outrigger canoe race. Sampling local foods, hearing “talk story” sessions and viewing commemorative ceremonies are also on the schedule. For more information, http://princekuhio.net

March 15 – Prince Kuhio Artisan Fair at Poipu Beach Park
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Enjoy a wealth of local talent with over 40 of Kauai’s fine artisans. Photography, jewelry, aloha wear, wood carvings, lau hala baskets, pounded mulberry bark, passion fruit and assorted jewelry, original oil paintings, table linens and more. Local plate lunches and shave ice all day. Hear a performance by drummer-maker, Heifara. Learn about Prince Kuhio at the history table and participate in the Charity Walk silent auction. For more information, http://princekuhio.net or  Judith Webb, judithhawaii@yahoo.com, 808-245-9021 . Located at Poipu Beach Park.

March 16 – Prince Kuhio Rodeo at CJM Stables
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. — See Kauai’s exciting young riders compete in barrel racing, pole bending, goat-tying, breakaway roping, bull riding and double mugging. Rodeos and horseback riding have long-been a tradition in Hawaii, since the early days of the plantation era. No charge. For more information, http://princekuhio.net or  email Charlene Medeiros at charmedeiros@yahoo.com.  Stables are located at the eastern end of the Poipu area (travel 1.5 miles past the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa).

March 16 – Prince Kuhio – Wisdom of the Kupuna at National Tropical Botanical Gardens
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Join Kupuna Mele Brewer as she discusses the art of hula. Learn a hula, or create your own lei. Lei class is limited to 50 participants. No charge, Call 808-742-2433, to register for lei making. Gardens are located at 4425 Lawa`i Road, Koloa, 96756, across from Spouting Horn, west of Poipu.

March 17 – Prince Kuhio Celebration – Pa‘akai (art of salt making)
9:30 a.m. — If you are touring on the west side of the island, stop by Salt Pond Park at Pu’olo Point in Hanapepe (east side of the park) and visit with `Anake (Aunty) Janet Kahalekomo and her `ohana (family) as they share their history and knowledge of cultivating Kauai’s red salt, a prized product among cooks and local families on Kauai. Open to the public at no charge. For more information, http://princekuhio.net or  contact Carla Thomas at carla.thomas@hyatt.com or call 808-742-1234, ext. 4050. Located at the end of Kaalani Road in Hanapepe.

March 18 – Prince Kuhio Celebration – A Royal Dinner at Plantation Gardens
5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. — Dine on the incredible array of specialty dishes at this well-known eatery, or savor a multi-course special menu offering traditional Native Hawaiian foods assembled in extraordinary combinations. Delight in the surroundings of this old plantation-style home surrounded by exotic orchid and cactus gardens. Wear your best Hawaiian-style clothing. Be serenaded by our local musicians and enjoy the swaying of a hula dancer.  While waiting for a table or to be served, please join in interactive demonstrations working with aho (cordage), lau ki (ti leaf), or create a kupe`e (wrist lei). Call 808-742-2121 for dinner reservations and information. Located at 2253 Poipu Road, Koloa 96756.

March 19 – Prince Kuhio Celebration – “Talk Story” at the Waiohai
9:00 a.m. — Flora and fauna tour. 10:00  a.m. — Observe an opening protocol ceremony, followed by “talk story” sessions from Kauai’s south shore kupuna (knowledgeable ones) who are well-versed in the Native Hawaiian culture. Hear them convey the traditional oral history and stories of Kauai’s south side region. This is an outstanding opportunity to ask questions and hear answers about much of Kauai’s history and cultural practices. No charge. For information http://princekuhio.net or call 808-742-4400 (front desk). Located at 2249 Poipu Road, Koloa, 96756.

March 20 – Prince Kuhio Celebration – Makauwahi Cave Tour at Mahaulepu
9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. — The richest fossil site in the Hawaiian Islands is found east of Poipu at the Makauwahi Cave, an open ceiling sinkhole that is a uniquely preserved archaeological site. Considered a living museum, this 17-acre area serves to both interpret ancient history of Hawaiian plant, animal and human activity as well as work on the future of indigenous plants. Learn how native plants and animal species have been restored and continue to thrive. Wear walking shoes, bring water. Cost – $10. For reservations, Mary Werthine, makauwahi@gmail.com, 480-225-5604. Located 3 miles east of Poipu. Click here for driving directions.

March 21 – Prince Kuhio Celebration – Cultural Demonstrations at Grand Hyatt Kaua‘I Resort and Spa
2 p.m. to 7 p.m.  Hear about many Native Hawaiian cultural and art practices, including weaving, working with kalo (taro), stone-carving, Hawaiian weapons, making drums, making tapa (kapa), creation of kupe`e (bracelets). Learn some of these practices through hands-on teaching sessions and ukulele lessons. No charge. Please call concierge to register for lessons. For more information, http://princekuhio.net or Carla Thomas, carla.thomas@hyatt.com, 808-742-1234, ext. 4050. Located at 1571 Poipu Road, Koloa, 96756.

March 22 – Prince Kuhio Commemorative Ceremonies at Prince Kuhio Park
10:00 a.m. — Observe the protocol of honoring Prince Kuhio’s birthday with ho`okupu (gifts), hula (dance), and oli (chant). Ceremonies, song and dance reflect Native Hawaiian traditional cultural practices. Open to the public with some tent seating and lawn seating. Bring sunscreen and hat. No charge to the public. For more information, http://princekuhio.net or Peter Kea with the Royal Order of Kamehameha, gpkea@yahoo.com, 347-615-2164.  Located on Lawai Road on the way to Spouting Horn.

March 22 – Prince Kuhio Celebration – 43rd Annual Long Distance Canoe Race
At 8 a.m., the Men’s Division will paddle from Kalapaki Beach to just outside Kukui`ula Harbor.  At 10:30 a.m., the Women’s teams will paddle from just outside of Kukui`ula Harbor to Salt Pond Park. An awards ceremony will be held at Salt Pond Park. For more information, http://princekuhio.net or Pomaikai Kane, with the Garden Island Canoe Racing Association, pkaneautoplus@yahoo.com or call 808-651-2996.

March 22 – Prince Kuhio Celebration – Kaapana and Kaawa Concert at the Grand Hyatt Kauai
8:15 p.m. Hear the extraordinary sounds of these award-winning slack key guitarists who are considered masters of Hawaiian music. (No-host bar available).  6-8 p.m. – Torchlighting Ceremony, Hawaiian music duo and Keiki (children’s hula). No charge. Seating is on a first come-first served basis. For more information, Carla Thomas, carla.thomas@hyatt.com or call 808-742-1234, ext. 4050. Located at 1571 Poipu Road, Koloa, 96756.

March 23 – Prince Kuhio Celebration – Opening Protocol and Taiko Drumming at the Grand Hyatt Kauai
9:00 a.m. — Observe an opening protocol ceremony with the presentation of hookupu (gifts) in honor of Prince Kuhio, followed by an exciting performance of Taiko drumming. For more information, http://princekuhio.net or Carla Thomas, Carla.thomas@hyatt.com, 808-742-1234, ext. 4050.

March 23 – Prince Kuhio Celebration – Cultural Demonstrations and Crafts at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa
9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Hear about many Native Hawaiian cultural and art practices, including weaving, working with kalo (taro), stone-carving, Hawaiian weapons, making drums, making tapa (kapa), creation of kupe`e (bracelets). Learn some of these practices through hands-on teaching sessions. Participate in hula kahiko (ancient hula) lessons at 10 a.m. Enjoy outstanding crafts and local art on display during our cultural craft fair. Silent auction to benefit Pa Hula Na Kane O Keoneloa and the annual HLTA Charity Walk.  No charge. For more information, http://princekuhio.net or Carla Thomas, carla.thomas@hyatt.com, 808-742-1234, ext. 4050. Located at 1571 Poipu Road, Koloa, 96756.

March 24 – Prince Kuhio Celebration – Prince Kuhio Park Tour
10:00 a.m. — Learn about the historic birthplace of Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana`ole, and his significance to the Native Hawaiian culture. Join the Royal Order of Kamehameha, Chapter 3, as they take you on a journey through time. Wear sunscreen, covered shoes, and a hat. Bring water. No charge. For more information, http://princekuhio.net or Peter Kea, gpkea@yahoo.com, 347-615-2164.

March 25 – Prince Kuhio Celebration – Evening of Entertainment at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa
6:00 to 6:30 p.m. — Enjoy music song and dance with special performances in tribute to Prince Kuhio in honor of his birthday (March 26th). Contemporary Hawaiian music by Leilani Rivera Low, plus a torchlighting ceremony, and keiki (children’s hula) performing ancient and modern dance. No charge. For more information http://princekuhio.net or  Carla Thomas, carla.thomas@hyatt.com, 808-742-1234, ext. 4050. Located at 1571 Poipu Road, Koloa, 96756.

March 27 – Prince Kuhio Celebration – “Talk Story” at the Kauai Marriott
10 a.m. — See an opening protocol ceremony, followed by “talk story” sessions from Kauai’s our eastside kupuna (knowledgeable ones) who are well-versed in the Native Hawaiian culture. Hear them convey the traditional oral history and stories of Kauai’s central and eastside regions. This is another outstanding opportunity to ask questions and hear answers about much of Kauai’s history and cultural practices. Hawaiian cultural activities are also planned throughout the day, flower lei making, hula lessons, Hawaiian music and  more. No charge. For more information, http://princekuhio.net or call 808-632-820 (front desk). Located at 3325 Holokawelu Way, Lihu`e, 96766

March 28 – Prince Kuhio Celebration – Luau at Smith’s Tropical Paradise
5 p.m. — The Smith Family has been sharing the history and culture of the Wailua River Valley with visitors and kama’aina for more than 60 years. Kumu Kaha’i Topolinski will showcase photos and stories of Prince Kuhio and his family on the island of Kauai from 5 p.m. until 6 p.m.  Several of Kauai’s eastside kupuna will also be on hand to “talk story” about local history and legends. At 6 p.m., learn of the cooking style known as kalua, at the imu ceremony before enjoying a bounty of island food and drinks and experiencing the songs and dances from Hawaii and the Pacific Rim. For more information and reservations, call 808-821-6895 or check Smith’s website. Located at 3-5971 Kuhio Highway, Wailua, 96746.

Whale Watching Season on Kauai

whale-watching-kauaiIf you want to see whales, now is the time. On Kauai, sightings have been extremely frequent this year. While Humpback whales visit the islands every year, the peak season is in January and February. This is when most of the calving takes place, so be sure to keep your eye out for juvenile whales that are just learning to play.

There is something rather exhilarating about witnessing a 40-ton animal launching out of the water only to fall back to sea with an explosive splash! If you have never seen this event, there are really no words to describe it. Wildlife enthusiasts do not want to miss this event.

If you are visiting Kauai, this is one of those treats that you can see for free. Whales can viewed just about anywhere along the coast, but you can enhance your experience by choosing one of Kauai’s beautiful beaches. One of my favorite spots to see whales is along the Coastal Path on the East Side. If you are looking for a more up close and personal experience, joining a whale watching boat tour is definitely the way to go.

While a full breach is absolutely the most exciting display that you may see, you might also see a number of other interesting whale behaviors. With extremely elongated pectoral fins that easily measure a third the length of their body, they may wave or slap the water in what is called a pec wave, or pec slap. A thundering tail or peduncle slap is also fairly common. This can be quite entertaining if it is repeated and you might get a show that lasts for several minutes.

Humpback whales are also known as kohola in Hawaii. They migrate each year from the food-rich icy waters of Alaska, traveling nearly 3000 miles to the Hawaiian Islands. This journey can take them nearly two months. They come to Hawaii to mate and birth their young in the warm, tropical waters here. They will stick around and delight us for about 6-8 weeks before returning to their summer home to feed.

Watching whales is just one of the amazing things that you can do while on Kauai. If you like marine life, try snorkeling at one of Kauai’s best snorkeling spots, or you might want to take a stroll along the Kauai’s South Shore to watch the turtles feeding at high tide. If you are lucky, you might even get to see the endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal. They often haul themselves out onto the warm sunny sand to rest. If wildlife is your thing, Kauai is the place to be!

Kauai Breadfruit Festival

Mark your calendars for the first ever Breadfruit  Festival on Kauai. This fun and cultural event is a Free Family event happening  this Sunday, September 15th 2013 from 9am -3pm at The National Tropical Botanical Gardens – South shore Visitors Center in Poipu.

Enjoy a day of Hawaiian cooking, culture, music and activities highlighting ulu (breadfruit) and kalo (taro).  There will be exciting cooking demonstrations by Celebrity Chef Sam Choy and presentations by multiple cultural practitioners.

The staff and volunteers of NTBG  invite attendees to participate in a variety of demonstrations including:  system of processing `ulu into flour using a manual shredder, solar drier, and pedal-powered grinder.

There will be a shuttle from offsite parking on the western bypass road near the roundabout-across from The Shops at Kukui`ula starting at 8:30 a.m.  No coolers or beach chairs will be accommodated.

Visit the Kauai.com Event Calendar for Kauai events and things to do: Kauai Event Calendar

Ten Days of Fun Family Activities at Koloa Plantation Days

Koloa Plantation DaysJuly is one of the best months to visit Kauai. The weather is warm, the flowering trees are in bloom, and summer is full swing. There are countless summer activities to enjoy here on Kauai that include snorkeling, surfing, taking a boat ride and enjoying the beaches. But something special happens in July on Kauai’s South shore. While Koloa and Poipu boast some of the most beautiful beaches and stunning vistas, there is also a lot of history on Kauai’s South Shore. Koloa Plantation Days in an annual event that celebrates the history and heritage of Kauai’s first sugar plantation as well as the ethnic diversity of the plantation workers that came to Kauai from Japan, the Philippines, Europe, China, Korea and elsewhere.

Koloa Plantation days is held every year in July; this year it kicks off on July 19th, 2013 with a rodeo and Paniolo Barbeque and runs for ten days. The cool thing about this festival is that there are a ton of events and most of them are free, and you can learn a lot about the history of the sugar plantations on Kauai.

Koloa Plantation was the first plantation in the sate of Hawaii. You may catch a glimpse of the mill sitting in a field as you drive towards Poipu, but it no longer processes sugar and is slated for demolition in the near future. The mill is normally off limits, but for this special event a permit is granted so that folks with a reservation can enjoy a free tour of the mill and the Wilcox tunnel. During this event, Stella Burgess and Arryl Kaneshiro will share historical information about the mill and talk story and reminisce about plantation life. But this is only one of many events that will take place.

Koloa MIll

Koloa MIll

Other events include, a miniature golf tournament, keiki fishing at Waita reservoir, a plantation cooking demonstration, movie night, traditional Hawaiian games, a historical walking tour, a coastal hike at Mahaulepu, a charity tennis match, a Polynesian review with fire dancing, a pastel class, and a plantation heritage craft fair to name just a few. Since most of the events are free, some require reservations. Make sure to check the Koloa Plantation Days website for more information about specific events.

The festival of events culminates in the annual Historic Koloa Plantation Days Parade and Park Celebration held on Saturday July 27, 2013, from 10am-5pm at Koloa Ball Park. The Park Celebration features local craft vendors, food booths, live music and Hawaii’s favorite comedians, Frank Delima and Augie T. The kids can cool off in the water-slides after jumping in the bounce house or find the kids tent where they can play games and make crafts. There is a $3 fee to attend the all-day event and kids under 12 are free. For more information or a detailed schedule you can visit the Koloa Plantation Days website. Make sure to schedule some time during your Kauai vacation to enjoy some of these unique, local events. For more information on upcoming events check out the Kauai Event Calendar.

Koloa Plantation Days Schedule of Events

July 19 – July 28, 2013
Island culture & plantation history , sports & outdoor recreation
Kids & family activities * Celebration events with live entertainment

FRIDAY – July 19
Plantation Days Rodeo – Preliminary Roping & American West Barrel Racing
at CJM Stables, 11am-3pm. 742-6096.
Paniolo Cookout & Music at CJM Stables, 4-8pm. $5 entry. 635-3053.

SATURDAY – July 20
Poipu Kai Charity Tennis Summer Challenge, 8am-4:30pm.
$25 entry fee. Entry deadline: July 13. 634-6050.
Historic Hapa Trail Walk from St. Raphael’s Church, by Kōloa Community Assn. 9am. 651-1332.
Plantation Days Rodeo Preliminary Roping at CJM Stables, 11am-5pm. 742-6096.
Keiki Fishing at Waita by Kaua’i ATV, 1-4pm. RSVP required. 742-2734.
Polynesian Revue & Fire Dancer, Po’ipū Shopping Village 7:30-8:30pm. 742-2831.

SUNDAY – July 21
Poipu Kai Charity Tennis Summer Challenge, 8am-2pm. Semi/Finals. 634-6050.
Pō’ipū Kai Keiki Tennis Fun, 2-4pm for ages 7-14. 634-6050.
Miniature Golf Tournament, ages 13 & under, Lāwa’i Beach Resort, 10am. 240-5179.
14th Annual Plantation Days Rodeo at CJM Stables. Pre-rodeo entertainment,
$2 adults, children free ($1 goes to YMCA). 11am-3:30pm. 742-6096.

MONDAY – July 22
Makawehi Sand Dune Hike, Grand Hyatt Kaua’i, Seaview Terrace 8am. 742-1234.
Plantation Days Exhibit & Historic Film Night, The Shops at Kukui’ula.
Exhibit opens 6pm, 7:30pm film. Exhibit open until Friday. 742-9545.

TUESDAY – July 23
Koloa Plantation Days Craft Fair, Kōloa Landing, 9am-1pm. 742-1888.
Koloa Before Sugar at KoloaUnion Church, 3pm. 332-0303.
Mixed Plate – Live Music at Old Kōloa Town Courtyard, 5-8pm. 245-7238.

Coastal Hike by Mālama Māhā’ulepū. 9:30-11:30am. Meet at CJM Stables. 346-1509.
Traditional Hawaiian Games, Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation, 10am-12pm. 742-6411.
Plantation Treats at Kaua’i Culinary Market, The Shops at Kukui’ula, 4-6pm. 742-9545.

THURSDAY – July 25
Look Back Through the Sugar Era, Old Koloa  Mill, by Grove Farm. 9-11am. 245-3678×222
Plantation Days Putting Contest, Poipu Bay Resort Golf Club, 2-4pm. 742-8711.
Movies in the Park by Rotary of Po’ipū Beach, 8pm screening, 652-2136.

FRIDAY – July 26
Māhā’ulepū Watercolor Class by Malama Mahulepu. Fee for supplies or bring
your own. 9am-noon. 346-1509.
Talk Story: Sweet Memories of Old Kōloa, Kōloa Union Church, 4:30pm. 332-0303.
Old Kōloa Town Historical Walk departing from Kōloa School, 5:30pm. 332-5201.

Annual Parade & Park Celebration
HISTORIC PARADE – 10am, Kōloa Town.
Floats, marching units, riders, classic cars & the Pacific Fleet Band
PARK CELEBRATION – 10am-5pm, Anne Knudsen (Kōloa) Park.
Food, Crafts, Keiki fun, Live Entertainment! $2 admission. 652-3217.

SUNDAY – July 28
Family Fun Run/Walk by Kukui’ula Canoe Club. Race fees apply. 7-10am. 635-0165.
Keoki’s Ukes in Paradise Keiki ‘Ukulele Competition at Keoki’s Paradise.
10am start. Free contest entry includes lunch and t-shirt. 742-7534.

Kilauea Art Night

Kilauea Art Night
Who can resist the lure of a Kauai summer night filled with art, music and entertainment in the heart of Historic Kilauea Town. Local Artisan Courtney Puig is founder of recycled  T-shirt bag company, See That Fly. Courtney has been dreaming of bringing together Kauai Artisans that inspire and showcase unique local art. Mark your calendars for an evening of fun on the grounds of the Historic Kilauea Stone House. Kilauea Art Night debuts the first monthly art night on Kauai’s north shore this Saturday June 29th. Look for original one of a kind creations form over 20 talented Kauai Artisans featuring art, hand made apparel, jewelry, photography, custom slippers, painted glass bottles, ice cream and more. Live music performance by Unko Funki , face painting, henna tattoos and dinner at  Kilauea Fish Market.  This evening is sure to be a fun event for the whole family. Check out Kauai.com Event Calendar for upcoming festivals and events.

Keeping Hula Alive

Kumu hula (hula instructor) Leinaa'ala Pavao Jardin dancing auana style. Photo courtesy Leina'ala Pavao Jardin

Kumu hula (hula instructor) Leinaa’ala Pavao Jardin dancing auana style. Photo courtesy Leina’ala Pavao Jardin

Kauai hula instructor Leinaala Pavao Jardin began dancing hula when she was three years old, continuing through high school and college, after which she began teaching. Here is an excerpt of her journey from a little girl dancing hula to becoming an instructor from the book,“Kauai Stories.”

Note: Hula, the iconic dance of the Hawaiian islands, was almost lost entirely in the 1820s when missionaries, who came to Hawaii to share their values, pushed heavily for the cultural dance to be prohibited. Hula was banned until the 1870s when laws against “public hula” were gradually lifted.

“Hula is my passion. When I dance, I feel humbled but filled with pride. We are fortunate to be able to dance hula because it was lost for so long.

In ancient times, women were totally forbidden from doing the hula. It was done only by men who would do it to prepare for battle. So a lot of the ancient hula, it’s very vigorous, like if you put a spear in their hands they could hurt someone. Eventually the men started to go off to war and that is when the women took a liking to hula. I always joke that it’s like everything in life: men started it, women learned how, we got better at it and we took over.

There are two types of hula: kahiko, the ancient, and auana, which is more modern and was developed after the missionaries arrived in Hawaii. Kahiko is very traditional; these are very old mele (songs) talking about the birth of the islands, gods and restating history.

In hula, normally if you’re writing a song about a loved one, you don’t even make mention of that loved one. You compare that person to a special flower or a special bird. Composers use the blossom as a metaphor for a loved one or a relationship. If a song is about surfing, the surfboard going in and out of the waves could be a metaphor for making love. That’s why when teaching hula, I’ve got to research the mele. You can’t just pick a song and teach it!

I want my students to feel love for the hula because you are sharing our culture. You have to put yourself in that location that the song is written about. If you’re dancing about Kokee, you better feel the chill of that mountain climate when you’re dancing so your audience can feel it.

When my niece, Jaedyn, was nine years old, I entered her in the Miss Keiki (Child) Hula competition. She was going to dance to a song named after the waterfalls in Hanapepe Valley. I wanted her to see the falls, to feel the mist on her skin.
A week before the competition, we chartered a helicopter and landed there. Jaedyn danced at the base of the waterfall and we cried and we all got wet from the spray of the falls. The next week, she won Miss Keiki Hula.”

Leina’ala Pavao Jardin will talk more about her life in hula on Saturday June 1, 2013 from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Kauai Museum, followed by a short performance by some of her students. For more info: (808) 651-3533,

Kauai Performing Arts Anything Goes

Anything-Goes-SmallThe Kauai Performing Arts Center will be presenting “Anything Goes” a musical comedy with music and lyrics by Cole Porter at the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall.

This timeless classic has some of musical theatre’s most memorable songs including; “I Get A Kick Out Of You,” “You’re the Top,” and of course, “Anything Goes.”The book was a collaborative effort by Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse, Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. The New York Times calls it “MUSICAL-COMEDY JOY” and USA TODAY hails it as “GLORIOUS and EXUBERANT!”

Dennis McGraw directs this production with choreography by Marc Sicignano and Sarah Smith, and musical direction by Nina Saraos. Performances will take place at the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall in Lihu‘e on April 19, 20, 21, 26, 27 and 28. Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m., and Sundays at 3 p.m.

Tickets are available at the door or in advance from any of the performers.

Adults: $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Students: $8 in advance, $10 at the do.

For more information contact Dennis Mc Graw 808 651-2417

Talk Story With Elvrine Chow

Kauai lei-maker Elvrine Chow to talk story May 18 at Kauai Museum at 10:30 a.m.

Kauai lei-maker Elvrine Chow, who specializes in haku leis that are worn around the forehead, will talk story about her love of leis and why she still enjoys making leis 30 years after she was introduced to the art, Saturday May 18 from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Kauai Museum. After her talk, Chow will give teach the audience how to make a haku lei.

Chow, who sells haku leis at the Kauai Community Farmers Market on Saturday mornings, is often greeted by visitors who tell her that she is the only person they have met who makes leis. “I meet the most amazing people from all over the world. Sometimes there are three or four languages being spoken under my tent at Farmers Market,” she says.

The conversation will be facilitated by Pamela Varma Brown, author of the book Kauai Stories: Life on the Garden Island told by Kauai’s People, a collection of 50 inspiring, touching and humorous stories about island life, available for purchase at the museum.

This talk story event is part of the Kauai Museum’s ongoing “Author Series,” highlighting talented local writers, said Melisa Paterson, the museum’s public relations specialist.

Admission is $10; free to museum members. For more information, please call Kauai Museum at 245-6931.