Music and Mangoes

Juicy tunes and creative takes on a local staple will take over Halulu Fishpond Sunday, Aug. 14, in a celebration of two island obsessions: mangoes and music. 

The event is the fourth annual Waipa Music and Mango Festival, hosted by the Waipa Foundation and features Hawaiian and island-style music, arts and crafts and vendors.

The day’s activities will be flavored with the mosaic of mangoes scattered throughout the festival.

“We’ll have educational displays for the kids, farmers will be there that will have mangoes for purchase, and there will be vendors — a couple of artists and jewelry folks,” said organizer Kalen Kelekoma.

But there’s more at stake than snagging a shady spot to catch a show or settling on a piece of jewelry made from island shells.

Kelekoma said for those who are interested, bragging rights are on the table.

Two contests offer the chance to challenge your neighbors at the festival — a recipe contest and biggest mango contest.

For the biggest mango contest, it has to be a mango that you’ve grown yourself in the backyard or on a farm.

“That’s always fun, to see who grew the biggest mango,” Kelekoma said.

The recipe contest features five categories: pickled mango, jams and jellies, desert, appetizer and a main dish. Anyone can submit a dish, and the entries are plated for judge tasting.

“We’re looking for creativity,” Kelekoma said. “Last year the pickled mango that won, it tasted like the sliced ginger on the side of sushi. The main dish that won was a mango glazed pork roast.”

Chef Kama Hoe from Molokai will also be doing demonstrations and though there aren’t technically any tastings of his food, Kelekoma said it’s possible to score a slice of his dish if you’re in the right spot.

“If there’s a chef’s treat, it’s usually for people that are right there hanging out,” he said.

If you miss the rare handout from the chef, there are plenty of other mango-centered options from vendors at the festival, including habanero sausage, quinoa, smoothies and drinks — all flavored with mango.

The event is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tickets at the door are $10 adults, $1 for keiki (3-18). Proceeds benefit Waipa Foundation.

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