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The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival may be Hawaii’s oldest food festival, but it’s offering new, eye-catching activities to its schedule as it approaches its 43rd year.
Taking place on Hawaii Island from Nov. 1-10, this year’s festival promises an expanded lineup that includes innovative arts and culture, island entertainment and community spirit.
Celebrating Kona’s famous brew — which has a 200-year heritage — the 2013 event is adding several programs with plenty of visitor appeal. The festival’s new events include a Kona Coffee art show and competition; a multi-generational, multi-cultural hoolaulea (outdoor celebration); coffee, community and cultural workshops; and a showcase of Enka-style folk songs by Japanese recording artist Uwasa no Kyotaro.
Among the returning festival events are a coffee recipe contest, coffee cupping, an art walk, a scholarship pageant, a coffee picking contest, farm tours and a Hawaiian music concert.
Java, food and festival fans from around the world visit Kona to take part in the annual heritage festival, which is held during the coffee harvest season. This year, the festival theme, “Kona In Your Cup” reflects the various, distinctive coffee flavors from the more than 600 independent farms that make up the Kona coffee belt.
Kona stands apart from other Hawaiian-grown coffee because of its hand-picked quality and well-balanced taste. Volcanic soil and island trade winds combine with natural shade or cloud coverage each afternoon to create perfect growing conditions.
Admission to festival events requires the purchase of a $3 button, available at each event.