Pumpkins roll at festival

WAIMEA — Laurie Yoshida of Dupont Pioneer had a good question Sunday at Harvest Ag Festival: Where did the line come from?

“We didn’t have a line last year,” Yoshida said. “But this is a lot more people than we had last year. The news must have spread.”

Pumpkins were the order of the day at as the line of several thousand people people anxious to adopt a pumpkin for Halloween and participate in other fall festival activities snaked across Waimea Canyon Park.

“This is more than a thousand pumpkins,” said Peter Wiederoder of Dow Agrosciences. “At least, we lasted for about two hours.”

The crowd was entertained by music from Kaleo Castaneda, a winner from the Koloa Plantation Days, Keoki’s Ukes in Paradise contest, and by Charlie Iona and Clyde Latreta, who were joined onstage by Mufi Hannemann, president of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association, who flew in from Honolulu for the event.

“I was wondering why they were breaking down early Saturday at the Chocolate and Coffee Festival,” said Randy Francisco of the county’s Office of Economic Development. “They moved the stage from Hanapepe to Waimea for this event.”

Beth Tokioka of Syngenta Seeds said there were a lot of people helping to make this event successful.

“Makaweli Beef provided the meat so Waimea High School paddling team could sell hamburgers; Kauai Shrimp provided material to help the Waimea High School Project Grad; Kunoa Cattle had items to benefit the Ruff Ryderz baseball team; Kaneshiro Farms enabled St. Theresa’s to offer pork, peas and pimento; and Fresh Shave brought their truck out with a portion of sales going to benefit the Relay for Life team who dispensed slices of pie,” Tokioka said. “And we have the Waimea High School JrROTC hosting games, the 4-H petting zoo, and a whole bunch of inflatable water features.”

The West Kauai United Methodist Church also added a new item — poi balls created by Becky Komaki — to its traditional offering of malasada and pronto pups.

In addition, the Kauai Police Activities League dispensed refreshments, and the Hawaii Health Systems Corp., Kauai Region distributed more than 200 free bicycle helmets through the Trauma Fund.

Wiederoder said there will be a limited amount of pumpkins given out Saturday during the Kauai Community Market at Kauai Community College.

Sunday’s event was coordinated by Dow Agrosciences, Dupont Pioneer and Syngenta Seeds with help from the HLTA, the Friends and Family of Agriculture, the Hawaii Crop Improvement Association and the County of Kauai.


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