It’s a setup; farm fair rises from the ground

If it wasn’t for the young people, there might not be a farm fair, said Roy Oyama, a long-time member of the Kaua‘i Farm Bureau.

Oyama was just one of many Kaua‘i Farm Bureau members who turned out yesterday to set up the Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau Fair which opens Thursday.

“We had to move everything from yesterday,” said Ron Victorino of Kaua‘i Commercial, a sub-contractor for Enviro Services and Training Center which was in the midst of its electronic waste recycling event.

Greg Perry of Enviro Services said the collection for residential goods was a lot less hectic than Friday’s collection from businesses, schools and non-profit agencies.

“We were here until 9 p.m. Friday night getting everything put away and moved,” said Jordan Perry of Enviro Services who was in charge of registering the collection clients.

In addition to the electronic recycling event and the farm fair set up process, the American Youth Soccer Organization, Region 940 opened its fall season with games being played at the North Vidinha soccer fields.

“This is a really busy place,” Victorino said, noting that in addition to all the activities, set-up was taking place for the pre-season football game between Hilo and host Kaua‘i High School.

Oyama was concerned with the new coordinator for the fair, there might be a lack of volunteers and help, but his fears were alleviated when Col. Jerald Knudsen of the Kapa‘a High School Jr. ROTC program appeared with 55 of the program’s cadets.

“At first, they wanted us to clean up the place,” Knudsen, a veteran of farm fairs, said. “But the important thing is to get the tents up. We broke the cadets down into four teams and they are busy setting up tents.”

But their job is not done after the tents go up as ninth-grade students Shari Rabaino, Jennefer Mata and Richelle Rodriguez said that during the four days the fair runs, the cadets will be helping park cars as well.

“It’s a good thing the kids showed up,” Oyama said while helping cadets secure piping for one of the tents. “I’m glad the help came. If it wasn’t for them, there might not be a fair at all.”

Randall Francisco, president of the Kaua‘i Chamber of Commerce, was another volunteer who appeared on his own to help the Kaua‘i Farm Bureau.

“My goal is to help every culture and every people,” Francisco said. “I used to do this while I was living on O‘ahu as well. If we rely on the same people, eventually, we won’t have an event. We need to invite new people each time.”

Francisco said he feels students are willing to help, but they need to be asked.

With the help of the volunteers and farm bureau managers, Kelly Gooding, another veteran of many fairs, feels that everything is moving on schedule.

The Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau Fair opens Thursday evening for a four-day run centering around the parking lot of Vidinha Stadium.

New for this year’s event is free entry for the first 300 under the age of 12 for each day of the fair’s run.

The Maltese Family Aerial Circus is another new attraction with performances daily, and ride enthusiasts can experience the Fireball, a new addition to the EK Fernandez Midway.

Additionally, Fernandez is hosting a “Kaua‘i County Fair” job fair for anyone seeking temporary employment at the fair. Prospective employees can visit the Vidinha Stadium site from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting Monday.

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