LIHUE — Brayden Poai was happy, but not really happy, when the Kauai County Farm Bureau Fair opened Thursday night to an audience of several thousand people taking advantage of Friday being a state and county holiday.
“He’s missing part of football practice to take care of this project,” said Roy Nishida, Poai’s grandfather, who was among the fair’s opening-night crowd. “We had to come and see him and support.”
Poai finished the 4-H Beef Steer competition by taking champion honors in the senior division marketing judging, edging Kaira Bukoski to reserve champion.
The order was reversed in the senior division showmanship, when Bukoski, credited for following the judge with eye contact and being mindful of her fellow competitors, edged out Poai.
More judging continues as the fair runs through Sunday night, and some of the winning livestock will be aucitioned off tonight.
Jim, the polar bear pumpkin submitted by first-time grower Ken Johnson of Kealia, waited amidst the scan of a steady stream of fair-goers.
He was anxious to show off the blue ribbon he earned during the fruit and vegetable judging that wrapped up in time for the fair opening.
Mary Lu Kelley was among those scrutinizing the lay out of fruits and vegetables, anxious to see how her entries did.
“We have a bunch of red ribbons (second place) and some third-place ribbons,” Kelley said.
“I’m going to check the other section to see if we got any blue ribbons. For a bunch of people who just grow things, I think we did pretty good.”
Sakda Meepol earned best in show honors for his honey pineapple, and Tian Sheng Lin shared the honor with bell peppers.
Hannah and James Zongping Huang earned top honors for the fair’s special vegetable — beets — despite the couple growing fewer of the sweet vegetable than normal because they planned a vacation.
Mason Phillips topped the youth category judging with his dragon fruit, followed by the avacado submitted by Mary Magoun earning second-place honors.
Green onions produced by Marlon Nishida rounded out the youth judging leaderboard.
The Wooten family of Kauai Kunana Dairy repeated in the top spot of high point judging, colleting $599 for their efforts.
Lin finished second with $503, followed by Zongping Huang with $403.
Longtime fair supporter George Mukai went on to lead the anthurium demonstration after finishing fourth in high point with $251, and Collin Dana rounded out the leaders in fifth place with $223.
The Kauai County Farm Bureau Fair opens at noon today and Sunday at Vidinha Stadium.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or email@example.com.