WAIPA — Across the street from the Waipa Foundation and past the Halulu fishpond, people followed the path to the 11th annual Waipa Music and Mango Festival on Sunday.
Hundreds lounged under tents and in the shade of the trees throughout the property as they enjoyed mango-themed treats, drinks, and other delights while listening to live music.
Janet Eisenbach greeted attendees at the Tambor Acai booth, happily selling acai cups with granola topped off with pieces of mango.
“It’s good to celebrate mangoes and the Waipa Foundation,” said owner Daniel Wright, who started Tambor Acai out of Hanalei, which now is an internationally-known brand.
Vendors sold homemade foods with mangos at every turn. Pickled mango was a show-stopper, especially when freshly packaged and ready to eat.
Keira Oberg-Diaz of Pono Productionz was a first-time vendor and enthusiastic to be a part of the festivities. The 21-year-old business woman described her foods as “locally sourced mama-made products.”
She also is a mom of twin six-month-old boys she said are a major source of inspiration.
“I’m just looking to expand and sell locally-sourced products and network with farmers on island,” Oberg-Diaz said.
At her booth, she sold homemade recipe of pickled mango flavored with li hing mui, which upon sampling was a great balance of tangy, sweet and a little spicy.
Local farmer Wirat Yothachai of Wirat Farms had a booth that boasted a large collection of mangoes harvested in Kekaha, and he also had other fruits such as pineapples, including the sugarloaf variety, and papayas from Lihue.
Other activities were Hawaiian board games, a children’s theater troop, hula dancing, and a water slide.
Waipa Foundation, a nonprofit, hosts the festival to help promote Hawaiian culture.
Nym Mendias and sons Jaxson and Jade Mendias sat in the shade and looked at the ocean as they ate shave ice. They were content and agreed it was well worth the drive from Kalaheo.
“It’s a beautiful location here,” Nym Mendias said.
“Who could complain, on this beautiful day on Kauai?” Jade added. “I’m listening to the music and eating my mango shave ice. What could be better?”