The secret is to come hungry, said Anastashia Keahi on Tuesday at the Hofgaard Park.
“This is good fun,” Keahi said after winning the hot dog-eating contest that was part of the Music in the Park. “I gave everybody a chance.”
Keahi pocketed a crisp $100 bill for her efforts that earned her winning status for the second straight year at the contest where contestants tried to consume all, or as many as possible, hot dogs in a container within a two-minute span.
“This is all about the hot dogs,” said Pualilia Hernandez of the Big Island who helped emcee the competition. “Last year, we had bread, but it got in the way and slowed down the eaters. This time, it’s all hot dogs — with some water to wash it down.”
Tina “Tuna” Ringle, visiting from Portland, agreed to the fun aspect after succumbing to Keahi’s efforts.
“No, I’m not coming back for the Spam Musubi Eating Contest,” Keahi told Hernandez. “I’m not working that day.”
The eating contest was one facet of the Music in the Park series that unfolded in between bouts of rain and cloudy skies at the week-long Waimea Town Celebration presented by the Waimea Professional and Business Association in partnership with other sponsors.
“This is rare,” said Arlene Kuapahi, one of three aunties huddled under a makeshift shelter formed with a pair of umbrellas. “I had to go find my umbrella since it never rains out here. It’s a good thing you’re here so my children know where I was.”
The music of Joe Kaneholani amd Pono Nero tugged spectators to the Hofgaard Park where Puni Patrick, one of the Waimea Town Celebration leaders, fished out a new raincoat has a hedge against the soggy conditions.
“Rain, or shine, this is going to fly,” Patrick said.
The Waimea Town Celebration continues with more Music in the Park on today and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., punctuated with eating contests — the Spam Musubi contest today and the Kauai Kim Chee eating contest on Thursday.
Paddy Boy Malama will be honored for his ambassadorial work on Kauai’s Westside today during the Ambassador of Aloha &Music Concert at the Historic Waimea Theater, starting at 6:30 p.m., and Hawaiian storyteller Moses Goods returns Thursday during Tales &Treats — Paniolo at the Waimea Theater, again starting at 6:30 p.m.
The schedule culminates Friday and Saturday with the Heritage of Aloha Ho‘olaule‘a which takes place centered around the Waimea old Sugar Mill Site.