Coconut versatility highlighted at festival

The public is invited to take in the Coconut Festival hosted by the Kapa‘a Business Association, Oct. 1-2, at the Kapa‘a Beach Park.

Gates are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 1, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Oct. 2, with no admission, although donations are being requested.

The festival features contests, games, food, entertainment, cooking and craft demonstrations, historical and cultural displays, more than 80 craft vendors, a Coconut Festival release states.

Appealing to both visitors and residents, the festival offers an opportunity to have fun while paying tribute to one of Kaua‘i’s most versatile trees and its fruits.

Ancient Hawaiians relied on the different parts of the coconut for clothing, housing, decoration, food, oil lamps, drums, fuel, shade and more. A lot of these uses are still important on the island today and will be demonstrated during the two-day event.

The coconut has always held a special significance to East Kaua‘i where coconut plantations were once the primary industry leading to its name of the “Royal Coconut Coast” due to its acres of coconut palms and being the home of Kaua‘i’s ancient royal families.

Chief Kap Teo Tafiti of the Polynesian cultural festival will be on hand for some of these demonstrations as well as performing his unique style of entertainment. He will be joined by traditional performances from local hula halau as well as popular local entertainers.

New to the event is a shipping booth where visitors can mail their coconut postcards directly from the festival. This will be joined by a demonstration area where local artisans will teach people how to make their own gifts while showing how they create their arts and crafts.

Coconut water straight from the shell will be available in the variety of food offerings which will be joined by the cooking demonstration stage where many of Kaua‘i’s chefs will prepare their favorite coconut dishes.

Chefs from the Eastside Restaurant, the Hukilau Lanai, Aston Aloha Beach Resort, the Courtyard by Marriott at Coconut Beach, Shivalik Indian Restaurant, and the Kaua‘i Marriott Resort and Beach Club are expected to demonstrate their culinary skills with coconut.

All of this will be punctuated by a variety of contests including the pie eating contest on each day. People with a secret coconut recipe can show off their skills, Sunday during the Coconut Cook-off Contest which has a prize of $100 cash and gift certificates from some of Kaua‘i’s restaurants.

Applications for the cook-off are available online at www.kbakauai.org.

Games include coconut bowling, ball toss into the coconut and ring around the coconut. Other keiki activities include a petting zoo and a variety of bouncers.

Visit www.kbakauai.org or call 651-3272 for more information.

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