Koloa Plantation Days is well underway, offering 23 events this year celebrating the plantation heritage and modern-day vitality of Kaua‘i’s South Shore communities of Koloa and Po‘ipu. Koloa Plantation Days commemorates and celebrates plantation life through the parade and other activities held at locations designed to share this culture with residents, keiki and visitors.
Celebrating 24 years, the historical parade through Koloa town will get underway at 10 a.m. tomorrow. The parade theme is “Getting Together, Plantation Style” and will feature floral floats, walking and equestrian units, decorated vehicles, vintage cars, and the Pacific Fleet Marching Band.
Koloa Plantation (founded in 1835) and other sugar plantations in Hawai‘i brought contract laborers from Asia and Europe to work in the fields and the mills. In the plantation camps, the workers from each country shared food, music, stories and traditions of their homelands.
This year the Tanaka family will be honored as the parade grand marshals. Tanaka Store is remembered in Koloa as the general store frequented by many plantation families in the area between 1935 and the mid 1960s.
The parade concludes at Knudsen (Koloa) Ball Park, where an all-day celebration will be held from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Entry fee is $2. There will be hula, a variety of entertainment, concluded by a show with Jawaiian music innovator Brother Noland. Live entertainment starts at 11:30 a.m. with the Pacific Fleet Band, followed by Kaukahi, taiko drumming, Halau Wai-ohai, comedian Augie T, the Super Stars Kaua‘i competition (Kaua‘i’s local version of American Idol) and local favorites Aloha Breeze. Food booths, keiki rides and activities, silent auction and craft fair.
The final day of the festival features the Plantation Days rodeo on Sunday at CJM Stables in Po‘ipu. The event includes championship roping and riding events for men and ladies. This year a new contest featuring a cowgirl and her dog will be introduced. Admission is $1.
Road closures and traffic detours enforced from 9 a.m. to noon tomorrow.
Traffic into and out of Koloa and Po‘ipu must use Po‘ipu bypass road. Parking is reserved for the north lot of the ball park, First Hawaiian Bank, Koloa and Omao Roads west of Hadama’s Service. Additional handicapped parking will also be available at the asphalt parking lot mauka of the park.
No parking on Maluhia Road, Ala Kinoiki (Po‘ipu bypass road), Koloa School, Big Save or Borthwick Mortuary.