Mango fest draws crowd to Hanalei

HANALEI — Artist David Kuraoka makes it a point to visit the Waipa Music and Mango Festival to get his fill of mango.

Sunday was no exception as Kuraoka browsed through the variety of mango being offered in the mango mart where fresh mango, mango products including baked goods using mango, and a shot of mango nectar was available for shoppers.

“We have a mango recipe contest starting around lunch,” said Kellen Kelekoma of the Waipa Foundation. “In the meantime, how about getting a picture of a photographer making a photo?”

Olivia Kelekoma was the subject for Daniel Finchum, a wet plate photographer, who was set up among the rows of vendors offering a variety of items ranging from clothing to jewelry, and more.

Representative dishes for the Mango recipe contest came from community eateries and featured a Mango Passion Salad, a Waipa St. Taco, Mango Soup, a Mango Habanero dressing, Mango Kim Chee, and even a Mango Pineapple Relish garnishing a grilled hot dog.

“They moved us from last year,” said Makaala Kaaumoana of the Hanalei Watershed Hui. “We couldn’t hear the music. But now, I guess I have to take the petition (to protect Papahanaumokuakea) out.”

The Hanalei Watershed table combined with the Hawaiian Island Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary to provide education and awareness of the environment. They were joined by representatives from the Kauai Invasive Species Committee, the Moku project, Go Farm Hawaii, Malama Kauai, and others.

“This is a nice family event,” Kelekoma said. “We even have families whose kids have their boogey boards to play on the beach while their parents shop and enjoy the food and music. It’s just a fun day.”

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