Kona Historical Society Announces Farm Fest

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Farm Fest is set for the Kona Coffee Living History Farm. PC: Kona Historical Society

Kona Historical Society (KHS) will host Farm Fest on Sunday, Nov. 10 at the Kona Coffee Living History Farm in Captain Cook.

The eighth annual free celebration honors Kona’s heritage by offering stories, entertainment, food and numerous hands-on activities sharing the traditions practiced by Kona’s coffee industry, its pioneers and the region’s diverse, multicultural community, according to a KHS press release.

The family-friendly event takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the historic farm, which is located on the makai side of Māmalahoa Highway between mile markers 110 and 111.


Parking will not be available at the farm. Eventgoers are encouraged to park at the Kealakekua Ranch Center in Captain Cook and take the free shuttle provided by Roberts Hawai‘i to Farm Fest. Vehicle access at the farm will be restricted to vendor, staff and volunteer drop-offs only.

This year’s theme is “Celebrating 20 years of Living History.” KHS regards history as more than just places, dates and events — it’s about people, the release said.

Living History is one of the tools this community-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and Smithsonian Museum affiliate has for sharing Hawai‘i’s history with people of all ages and amplifying the many voices that make up the community’s legacy. Living History demands people’s attention by immersing them in a pivotal historic event or activity, but also creates a personal bridge between the past and present, the release continued.


“Twenty years ago, Kona Historical Society sought to share the story and the impact Kona’s coffee pioneers had on the unique culture of this region through the immersive practice of Living History,” said Kona Historical Society Executive Director Dance Aoki. “With the help of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and with assistance from the State of Hawaii’s Legacy Lands program, the buildings that would become the Kona Coffee Living History Farm were restored to their appearance during the 1920s and 1930s in hopes of preserving this story and bringing Kona’s history to life.”

“The Kona Coffee Living History Farm invites participants to quite literally get their hands into historical traditions through our Hands-On History activities,” she continued. “Trails throughout the farm encourage guests to navigate through the ancient field system and rugged landscape where crops, coffee and otherwise have grown for centuries. We hope our community connects with the story we share, a story that represents a familiar and nostalgic experience, a story that brings back memories and reveals new perspectives on the home we all share.”

During Farm Fest, guests can wander the pathways of Kona Historical Society’s 5.5-acre working coffee and macadamia farm and enter 1900-1950, an important era of Kona’s coffee pioneers who used pure grit and local ingenuity to transform both the coffee farming process and the landscape upon which it happened.

Farm Fest is set for the Kona Coffee Living History Farm. PC: Kona Historical Society


They can also tour the farmhouse, where period artifacts, reproductions and skilled interpreters bring to life the sounds, smells and stories of daily life of the Japanese immigrant farming family that once lived there. Explore the kuriba (mill) and hoshidana (drying rack), two intact examples of how Kona’s first coffee farmers processed their crops and solved problems with limited supplies.

Try “Hands-On History” activities like traditional coffee land games, ikebana (Japanese art of flower arrangement), lauhala weaving, coffee picking, Japanese calligraphy, medicinal gardening and pan-roasting coffee. Learn how donkeys were a crucial part of Kona coffee farm families in the early 20th century at a pop-up exhibit on Kona Nightingales and then visit the farm’s pasture to observe the resident donkeys Shizu and Charlie Boy, who may sing their own song. Watch celebrity chef Sam Choy’s cooking demonstration featuring kobocha squash (Japanese pumpkin) and then visit talented chef Bryan Fujikawa at the Kona Grill House to purchase some local, seasonal eats. There will also be performances by Halau E Hulali Mai I Ka La and Keola Grace & Friends.

Guests can all stop by the Farm Fest Welcome Booth and grab a raffle ticket. One lucky eventgoer will win the special prize donated by Body Glove — a deluxe snorkel barbecue and dolphin watch for two people. Also at the Welcome Booth, eventgoers can discover how they can contribute to the Kona Historical Society’s efforts of informing and inspiring generations by joining the nonprofit’s volunteer program or by becoming a member.

Farm Fest is sponsored by Hawai‘i Community Federal Credit Union, Farm & Garden and Hawaiian Isles Real Estate. The event is also funded from grants by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and the Freeman Foundation. Additional support was given by Roberts Hawai‘i, Body Glove Cruises, KTA Super Stores, Carol Greenwell and Frederick G. Dosher. Kona Historical Society’s Farm Fest is part of the 2019 Kona Coffee Cultural Festival.

For more information about Farm Fest, call Kona Historical Society at 808-323-3222 or visit Like Kona Historical Society on Facebook to get the latest updates regarding Kona Historical Society’s programs, historic sites and special events.

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