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Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Returns

August 25, 2019, 9:49 AM HST (Updated August 25, 2019, 12:30 PM)
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PC: Kona Coffee Cultural Festival

Kona coffee has been grown on Hawai‘i Island slopes for nearly two centuries. The region’s annual coffee harvest has helped sustain its agricultural community, and so the community gathers to celebrate every November. The Kona 49th Annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival will be celebrated Friday, Nov. 1 through Sunday, Nov. 10.

The award-winning Kona Coffee Cultural Festival is recognized is the oldest food festival in Hawai‘i, according to a festival press release. The 10-day celebration honors Kona’s cultural heritage and recognizes the accomplishments of Kona coffee pioneers, farmers and artisans.
The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival ensures the story of Kona coffee’s cultural heritage continues to be shared with residents and visitors. The cultural heritage of Kona’s coffee industry is built on the multi-generational farmers, mainly of Japanese descent, who established coffee plantations in the Kona District along with the native Hawaiian host culture who had earlier ties to growing coffee in Kona.
In 1828, Reverend Samuel Ruggles brought coffee cuttings from O‘ahu to South Kona to see if the plants would thrive in Kona’s volcanic soil, the release continued. By 1841, coffee farms were established in Kona and forever changed the local landscape, setting Kona on a new economic journey that continues today.
Throughout the 10-day festival, Kona coffee farmers offer a firsthand look at how the crop is grown, the coffee art scene displays various exhibits, and the activities are complemented by music and dance. Kona coffee and food events offer tastings, and hands-on cultural events help tell the story of Kona’s coffee history.
A sampling of festival activities is listed below. A complete schedule is available at KonaCoffeFest.com.

PC: Kona Coffee Cultural Festival

Lighting Up the Evening  

As the sun sets over Historic Kailua Village, the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Lantern Parade lights the way along Alii Drive with its glowing procession of light, music and color. The Lantern Parade kicks off the Festival’s first Friday – on November 1 at 6 pm.
Holualoa Village Coffee & Art Stroll
Stroll through the quaint art district, visit galleries and choose from over 30 Kona coffee farms offering tastings and coffee for purchase.
Kona Coffee Farm Tours
A visit to this historic Kona coffee farm reveals the story of Kona coffee farmers from 1926-1945. It’s America’s only living history coffee farm.
Greenwell Farms offers a seed-to-cup tour, taking festival-goers on a journey into the history, the farming, the processing and tasting of 100% pure Kona coffee.
UCC Hawai‘i opens its farm with a coffee picking and farm experience tour, where festival-goers can try their hand at picking ripe coffee cherry and witness the processing of coffee.
Kona Coffee Cupping Competition
An international panel of professional cupping judges conducts side-by-side blind tastings as they sniff, slurp and taste their way through 50-plus entries to crown the winner.
Ho’olaule’a
Artisans, cultural practitioners, Hawaiian musicians, Kona coffee farmers and crafters all gather to share many of Kona’s ethnic traditions during the day-long Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Ho’olaule’a.
The purchase of a $5 festival admission ticket buys access to more than 40 events over 10 days and provides opportunities for special rates to ticketed events. Festival admission buttons are available for purchase at many retail and farm locations throughout the Kona area. Every button purchased helps support the festival.
For a complete listing of the 2019 Kona Coffee Cultural Festival events or for more information visitwww.konacoffeefest.com. Follow the festival on social media @konacoffeefest.
The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival is made possible through the support of Hawai‘i Tourism and the sponsorship of UCC Ueshima Coffee Co., Ltd., Kamehameha Schools, Alaska Airlines, Hawai‘i Community Federal Credit Union and numerous other corporate and community donors.
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