WAIMEA — “They’ve got good food,” said Mark Willman Monday as he exited the Historic Waimea Theatre with wife Val Willman to enjoy a lunch break from the Waimea Film Festival — Hawai‘i International Film Festival Hana Hou.
“I understand Gina’s Anykine Grinds provided the food. We have the all-day pass so we’re going to enjoy lunch under the trees before coming back to watch the shorts,” he said.
The HIFF Film Festival Hana Hou opened the 2021 version of the “mini” Waimea Town Celebration: Heritage of Aloha, that has been whittled down from its original week-long celebration and events to just four days because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’ve always supplied the food for the film festival,” said Gina Duarte of Gina’s Anykine Grinds, who came out of her kitchen to deliver food to the Historic Waimea Theatre food booth and chat with a film-festival attendee who was awaiting arrival of her tickets.
“Normally we’re closed on Mondays. But we have food coming for the Thursday Tales and Treats with Troy Lazaro, too. On Friday and Saturday, we’ll be doing pronto pups and malasadas — those are our most-popular items on the menu.”
Gina’s Anykine Grinds will be providing a treat pack for the Thursday night Tales and Treats that feature kumu hula Troy Lazaro, a Westside boy, presenting mele and mo‘olelo. A limited number of tickets that include the treat pack are still available for the theatre’s maximum-allowed capacity of 90 people to be in compliance with pandemic health and safety rules and guidelines.
The curtains rise on Lazaro’s presentation at 6:30 p.m.
Friday and Saturday nights, the Mini Ho‘olaule‘a takes place with the curtains going up at 6 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. on each night. Tickets are available for each night that will feature the Hi‘ipoi Kanahele Trio and Oiwi on Friday night, and Zech of Kawaiola Productions, Kaua‘i Calab and Kavibes on Saturday night.
Saturday daytime activities include the lei papale, or hat lei contest, with viewing from 10 a.m. to noon outside the Historic Waimea Theatre.
Lei appropriate for cowboys hats can be entered in one of two categories — most beautiful and most unique — in age groups that include grades kindergarten to second, third to fifth, sixth to eighth, ninth to 12th and adult. Drop-off time is between 7 and 8:30 a.m. Saturday.
Once the winners are announced on social media, the Scotty’s Music ‘Ukulele Contest takes the airways on social media, starting at 2 p.m.
Many of the events will air live on the celebration’s Facebook page.