It’s Raining, It’s Fair Time

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The curse of a rain-drenched Hawai’i County Fair is fulfilled as water pelts sidewalks and turns gravel and dirt into a kind of murky rock soup.

From Thursday September 13 to Sunday September 16, approximately 35,000 people will take part in the games, rides, entertainment and food at the fairgrounds located at the Hilo Civic Fairgrounds.

The 62nd Hawai’i County Fair is the largest event of the year for the Hilo Jaycees. For this service-oriented community club, the past six months have included booth construction and site set-up in the Civic and Butler Buildings.

This is the Jaycees 8th year helping with the Hawaii County Fair.

The fair will run on Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday 5:30 p.m. to midnight, Saturday from 10 a.m. to midnight, and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.


The live music this year is slated to have a lot of Big Island talent. Jedediah Kay, President of the Hilo Jaycees said, “Saturday is when we have a lot of headliners….”

Expect to see and hear the deejays from Native FM as they emcee and run the entertainment tent at the fair. For a full entertainment schedule visit www.hilojaycees.org.

Entertainment tent at county fair, photo by Kristin Hashimoto

Sudden Rush, Braddah Waltah, and Dirty Rootz among many others will make an appearance through the weekend.

With a full entertainment lineup, petting zoo, demonstrations and more, attendees will be held in thrall for most of the day.


Admission is $5 for individuals aged 13 and older and $3 for those aged 4 to 12.

Wristbands are on sale for $25 on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Each wristband is good for ten rides and must be used by closing Saturday. Otherwise one sheet of 10 coupons is $10.

Bring the hand-wipes for sticky little hands, and the camera, or camera phone for smiling faces.

On Sunday, the Jaycees are running a canned food drive and offering a sweet trade. Two canned goods equals the price of admission from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Kay said, “…there’s this need in this community and I feel it’s the young people’s responsibility to help their community and give back.”


Kay paused and continued, “As the economy continues to falter, people are realizing the kind of services this organization has to offer.”

The Jaycees portion of proceeds from this event is not held in coffers.

“We make this money, work hard, and the goal is to turn around and put it back into the community, whether it’s through trainings or community service projects such as adopt a school, adopt a highway, keiki fishing day and the biggest Easter Egg Hunt ever,” he said.

At the end of the day, when pizza slices are cold and stale, cotton candy reduced to colored syrup in the rain, and mud spattered rubber slippers squeak their goodbyes, those that served in the Jaycees will remember the months of work and revel in the satisfying payoff.

“We did that. We made those kids smile; we did this thing for our community,” said Kay with big smile.

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