Laughter is medicine. It’s healthy. Rejuvenating. And it’s a focal point of the 11th annual Kauai Wellness Expo is on Jan. 24-25, and why shouldn’t it be?
“We need to laugh,” said Char Ravelo, who is coordinating the expo through the Kauai Health and Wellness Association, and is bringing in comic Frank De Lima as the featured guest speaker for the two-day event. “Laughter is wellness.”
The Oahu native is beloved on Kauai for his parodies and ability to translate issues — such as current events, fads, attitudes and people — into fresh musical parodies.
De Lima’s show will headline the event at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall but the goal of the entire affair is to inspire well-being, promote healthy living and network people and small businesses together.
This year’s theme is “mahalo, gratitude and appreciation,” with a focus on men’s health. Taking care of oneself allows care to spread — an important, affectious trait.
“Care for yourself first, and from there you can take care of your family and the community and then from there, you can take care of the land,” Ravelo said. “It sounds pretty hokey, but it’s true.”
The expo has space for around 100 vendors, and more than half have already booked. Booths, set up by businesses coming from as far as Europe and Japan, will range from tea makers to chiropractors, and everything else in between, including an Indian henna painter — a plant used to dye hair and skin. It will also feature 30 speakers in nearby rooms, presentions by doctors and health teachers on a variety of topics.
“What’s beautiful about the expo is you can try things out,” Ravelo said, adding that it’s a great networking experience for businesses and clients. “It’s an all hands-on experience.”
For 35 years, De Lima has been running the Frank De Lima Student Enrichment Program. He reaches out to Hawaii’s schools to teach wellness and will be back in Kauai schools in February to do the same.
He won’t be the only laughing bit over the weekend, though. Another class will teach people about laughing yoga — a simple, healthy way to meditate.
“It’s just so fun,” Ravelo said. “It’s a great way to get to know yourself more.”
Booths cost $275. Tickets cost $5 for one day or $7 for both days, available at Kauai Kookie in Kalaheo, Party Wonderland in Lihue, and Kauai Music and Sound in Kapaa. Raffles will also be a part of the event.
Both days will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The convention hall is at 4191 Hardy Street in Lihue.