Working in palaka

POIPU — Dr. John W. Gilmore of the Clinic at Poipu was decked out in his palaka shirt Wednesday during the Kauai Culinary Market at The Shops at Kukuiula.

“Dr. Goodhue, who was practicing in Koloa, was on the recruiting committee,” Gilmore said. “They hired me in 1977 straight out of residency. My agreement was to serve for one year. I stayed nine. When people asked me about leaving, I just told them, ‘I only live in San Francisco.’”

Gilmore was excited about the ongoing Koloa Plantation Days celebration.

“We’ve rented the Poipu Shuttle and we’re going to be in the parade Saturday,” Gilmore said. “Some said I needed palaka shirts and a wide-brimmed hat. They even delivered these shirts that came from Grace Guslander of the Coco Palms Resort.”

Helaine Perel, manager of The Shops at Kukuiula, was just as excited.

“I just bought this cowboy hat,” Perel said. “People can use it when they pose for pictures in front of the plantation house replica that was set up by the Koloa Lions Club.”

The celebration of the plantation era continued as Mark Arriola, executive chef at Merriman’s Kauai, turned out copies of recipes for malasada, pork adobo and other local delicacies.

Koloa Plantation Days festivities continue today with the Old Plantation Fun & Games at the Southside Sports Center from 9 a.m. to noon. Youth can participate in sack, and three-legged races, a tug of war, marbles, tinikling, and even shoot some hoops.

Malama Maha‘ulepu hosts a watercolor class from 9 a.m. to noon led by local artist Patrice Pendarvis.

The Old Koloa Town Historical Walk departs from Koloa School at 5:30 p.m. and talks about the history of Old Koloa Town which grew around Hawaii’s first commercial sugar plantation.

The Flavors of Kukuiula — Plantation Style brings the evening to life from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. with samples of cuisine of the restaurants “street food” style with a plantation theme while enjoying shopping and live local entertainment, including the John Rivera Trio and friends, bluegrass by Roundhouse Ramblers, and ukulele by David Parsons.

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