Faces of the fair

LIHUE — The smell of funnel cakes and the sounds of screaming children greeted guests as they entered the fair grounds Saturday.

The spotty afternoon showers over Vidinha Stadium didn’t deter attendees, who simply ran under tents to wait for the rain to stop. That meant the game tent, which housed classics like whack-a-mole and basketball, was busy.

From rides and food to a petting zoo and agriculture exhibits, the Kauai County Farm Bureau Fair, which started Thursday and ends today, has something for everyone.

“I come every year. I’ve been going to the fair my entire life,” said Keola Taniguchi.

The Kapaa resident said the fair is an opportunity to get the whole family together.

“We come here for the kids — it’s a family affair,” Taniguchi said.

Putting a smile on their kids’ faces is worth it, despite the expense of games, food and rides, said Lindsey Rita.

“We save up all year just to come,” he said.

His wife, Alison, agreed.

“It’s kind of expensive, but it’s worth it, for the kids,” she said.

New this year was the “Fun Pass” system, a plastic card loaded with prepaid credits and required to ride the carnival rides, play games and buy food in the midway. For example, 40 credits is $5 and 1,000 credits is $100.

The family was looking forward to trying all the different kinds of food. “We eat everything,” Lindsey Rita said.

While traditional fair food such as candied apples, funnel cakes and soft pretzels were being served, Hawaii staples like kalua pork, poi and saimin were also popular, using local ingredients prepared by local cooks.

Elena Camat, owner of Elena’s Chinese Pretzels, has been selling her Chinese pretzels at the fair for the last five years.

“Every year has been really good. I made 700 pretzels this year,” she said. “I usually make around 500.”

Camat has been at the fair every day since it started. She’s excited to get a break and check out the fair today.

“I like to shop and look around,” she said. “I do go on some of the rides — I’m looking forward to that.”

Today is the last day of the fair, which is open from noon to 11 p.m. General admission for ages 4 and up is $2, and free for everyone after 6 p.m.

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