Last chance for fair fun

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    EK Fernandez rides are silhouetted by the sky at the Kauai County Farm Bureau Fair on the grounds of Vidinha Stadium.

  • Bethany Freudenthal / The Garden Island

    A friend who had come to the fair earlier told Maureen Janssen about the ceramic garlic peelers Jason White, right, who lives on the Big Island, was selling. For Janssen, the tool will come in handy because she uses garlic almost every day in her cooking.

  • Bethany Freudenthal / The Garden Island

    Nikki Ortega, 10, loves unicorns, and was excited about the glittery pink, blue and purple unicorn tattoo she’d just gotten.

  • Bethany Freudenthal / The Garden Island

    For nearly nine years, Elena Camat has been selling Chinese pretzels on Kauai. The thin and crispy treat is made from the heart, and anyone can eat them, she said.

  • Bethany Freudenthal / The Garden Island

    Despite Saturday’s heat, fairgoers were still having fun during discount ride day.

It was just before noon Saturday and already people had lined up outside the gates at the Kauai County Farm Bureau Fair. It was hot, but that didn’t seem to deter anyone from joining the day’s festivities.

“We’re going to open the lines in one minute,” a fair worker told the crowd. “Hand in your ticket if you need to leave and then come back without having to pay.”

Over in the main tent, Jason White of the Big Island was busy selling ceramic garlic graters. The ceramic graters, made in the south of Spain, are individually hand-crafted and can also be used for ginger, nutmeg, lemons and anything that needs peeling or grating.

As an added bonus for Kauai fairgoers, White was throwing in a garlic peeler, which he demonstrated.

“You go to any fine cooking store, they have these peelers there. They’re about $10, they’re well worth it, it saves you so much frustration. The way they work is you put your garlic inside there, you hear that cracking sound, that’s the skin cracking off of there. It saves you so much aggravation,” he said.

Maureen Janssen of the Wailua Homesteads said she came to the fair with the intention of purchasing a peeler, because a friend of hers came earlier in the week and told her about the cooking tool.

“I’m buying one because I’m lazy and it’s easy,” she said.

Surrounded by an array of colorful orchids in the plant exhibit was Geoffrey Goss of Kalaheo. He and his wife joined the Garden Island Orchid Society after purchasing a home that came with about 60 orchid plants in its yard.

“My wife said, ‘We need to join the orchid society so we can learn something so we don’t kill them,’” he said.

The plants at their house are surviving, but Goss said he thinks that has more to do with the climate than his orchid growing skills. Orchids, he said, are absolutely beautiful.

“The interesting thing is you can take two different things and combine them to make a different orchid. You have a lot of different hybrids, that’s where you get some of the unusual patterns, unusual colors, things like that,” he said.

Over in the livestock tent, Puhi residents Kris Hunt and her daughter Erin were admiring a chicken that was a 4-H project. They were at the fair Saturday for the discount rides.

“We were here on opening night already, so this is just for the rides,” Kris said.

Erin said the giant swings and the Ferris wheel are her favorite rides.

“When I was in second-grade, the first time we came to the fair, the very first ride I went on was the Ferris wheel, and I was, like, terrified, so every year after I always went on it again and again,” she said.

If you have a fear, Erin said to just keep trying.

“Eventually you will get over it and it will be really fun,” she said.

Kris said her favorite ride is the swings but she loves the animals, orchids and bonsai trees on display at the fair.

The Hunts also planned to partake in some of the fair food.

“There’s a lot of different stuff I haven’t tried here, like a fried Oreo, that sounds interesting,” Erin said. “I don’t know what to expect from a fried Oreo.”

Nikki Ortega, 10, was excited about a glittery pink, blue and purple unicorn tattoo she’d just gotten.

“I like unicorns! They’re pretty and I think they’re soft like a horse,” she said.

Earlier in the day, she’d played some games with her family and won a couple of prizes.

“I won a baby goat and a big fish,” she said. “I’m going to hug them.”

Games are her favorite part of the fair, she said.

Back in the main tent, surrounded by stack of gourmet Chinese pretzels, Elena Camat of Kapaa said she started making the pastries as a fundraiser for her son almost nine years ago.

“They’re actually made with an Italian rosette iron, but here on the island we call it Chinese pretzels, so it’s like a pancake or a funnel cake,” she said.

The pretzels come in seven different flavors and can be purchased at several stores throughout Kauai.

“These pretzels are made from the heart and they’re very light and crispy, so anyone can eat them,” she said.


Bethany Freudenthal, crime, county and courts reporter, can be reached at 652-7891 or


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