Participants attempt to catch water balloons in a balloon toss competition at the Kohala Country Fair last year. (FILE PHOTO)
Nothing says authentic, old-fashioned fun quite like a country fair. It’s not only a favorite American past time, but a celebration of history and heritage, family, and community. This Saturday, Oct. 5, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the 29th Annual Kohala Country Fair comes to Kapaau town.
Several months ago, fair organizers decided that the 28th event would be its last. Fortunately, a dedicated group of community members decided to take over event.
“The town was very sad, so a few of us picked up the project,” said organizer Maile Lincoln. “Our goal and our vision is to create an event during the year that we can call our own. We want everyone in the community to come out as an ohana and enjoy this day.”
The group has worked tirelessly for the past six months to ensure this highly anticipated event will be a success. This year’s theme is “Rhythm of Kohala,” and focuses on the plethora of talented musicians that are from the area.
“We want to honor musicians and look at the musical talent of Kohala,” Lincoln said. “We’re showcasing talent from at least 10 different local bands. Our headlining band is 2013 Na Hoku Hanohano Award nominees Ho‘aikane. The Kailua-Kona centered band will take the stage from 12 to 1 p.m. They will have their latest CDs as well as memorabilia available to purchase and to autograph. We’re excited that they will get to share their talent with us that day.”
Other talent taking the stage on Saturday are, MDF, RMD Kohala, North Shore Live, Brian Payapaya, Na Kupuna O Kohala, The Ho’opai Ohana and more.
Approximately 80 booths will be set up including informational booths about services and businesses in the community, craft and item vendors including Scentsy, Radio Shack, Polynesian jewelry, local shirts and trucker hats, natural soaps, sea glass jewelry, cutting boards, and massages to name a few.
And of course, it wouldn’t be a fair without fair food.
“This year we are excited to offer a wide variety of food items including laulau, pastele, Korean chicken, vegan and vegetarian wraps, pad Thai, seafood burgers, poke bowls, steak fry, huli huli chicken, and more,” said Lincoln. “Local goodies that we can look forward to enjoying are cotton candy, shave ice, mixed popcorn, mini doughnuts, smoothies, and Chinese pretzels.”
Other fun activities planned for the day are tug-of-war, balloon toss, and watermelon eating contests. New this year, parents have the opportunity to buy a keiki zone wristband for $10 which will allow the keiki to have unlimited jumps in the bouncy houses and unlimited rides on the kiddie train. All other rides will be individually priced.
“As always our fair offers free admission and free parking, although donations are greatly appreciated to help offset our expenses,” Lincoln said. “The fair committee would also like to send a huge mahalo to our local businesses and friends that have monetarily contributed to the fair. Your generosity helps us tremendously to put on a successful event.”
The fairground is located on the makai side of Akoni Pule Highway just a half mile east of the Kamehameha statue in Kapaau town. Fair goers will be able to park in the fairgrounds and there will be two-way traffic to alleviate backups on the highway.
For more information about the fair visit kohalacountryfair.com or on Facebook at Kohala Country Fair.