One of the best things to do on Kauai in mid July is to attend the annual Koloa Plantation Days celebration. I am biased I’ll admit, its a time when a great number of former sugarcane plantation workers are gathered in one place and between great events and shows we can share a few stories about ‘the good old days’. With this being the 26th annual event our stories are becoming as tall as the smokestack at the McBryde Sugar Mill. It’s a chance to celebrate the many cultures that came to the island where Hawaiian sugarcane production started in 1835, bringing with them their dress, foods, and music.
The festivities begin July 22 at CJM Stables where you will be able to see Kauai’s cowboy tradition flourish, the Hawaiian paniolo were renowned for their cattle skills and it will be on display in the calf roping and barrel racing competitions. An added treat will be the cookout at the event, you will have an opportunity to sample cowboy cuisine that has a distinctively Hawaiian flair. On July 23 at noon the calf roping events will begin at CJM Stables, arrive early this is a popular local event. Bragging rights for the winners of these events last an entire year and the cowboys and cowgirls play for keeps.
The mornings of July 23 and Sunday July 24, 2011 the tennis event commences at the Poipu Kai Tennis Courts at 1775 Poipu Road, the tourney will be open to all ages and last until 4.30pm. Our hosts for this charity event which assists United Way on Kauai, are the Poipu Kai Association, Kauai Tennis Association and the Grand Hyatt Kauai. Lunch will be provided for the tennis players and registered guests can enjoy the fare and fun for only $20.00. You can register for this event on line or in the pro shop at Poipu Kai Tennis.
Saturday morning will also include a hiking event along the Hapa Trail. The Hapa Trail was a major artery linking Koloa and Poipu in the past long before there were coastal roads along the south shore. Local experts will discuss the archaeological highlights and explain the native Hawaiian irrigation system called ‘auwai that conveyed water to this prime but dry agricultural land where sweet potatoes, taro and sugarcane were grown. A lunch will be provided at the Poipu Beach Park where participants will be able to sample some of the crops that were grown and eaten in pre contact days. This event is free of charge and the public is encouraged to attend, it will commence from historic St. Raphael’s Church on WeliWeli Rd. at 9 am.
The Family Fun Run and Walk begins Sunday morning at 7am at Poipu Beach Park, staff will be on site at 6am and late registration will continue until start time. There are event distances for all endurance levels from 5K walk/run commences at 7.30am, 10K and 10 mile run begins at 7am. The children from 10 and under can participate in the 1 mile run too, this event begins at 9.30am. Race fee $30.
The Keiki Miniature Golf Tourney is open to the first 75 children, 13 and under who participate, this event will be held July 24 at 9am at the Lawai Beach Resort on Lawai Road.
The finale of the three days of calf roping, and barrel races will culminate on Sunday morning at 11am with the Rodeo competition at CJM Stables. Food and beverages will be on sale for everyone attending.
Monday, July 25 wil feature the Makawehi Sand Dune Walk at 9am, participants will meet at Seaview Terrace at the Grand Hyatt Kauai. The tour lasts two hours so bring plenty of water, sunscreen and a hat because it will be hot. Our guide will be Dr. David Burney who along with his wife have reclaimed this local Hawaiian treasure and reintroduced native plants into the landscape.
This same evening, The Shops at Kukuiula Village will host the historic film night at 7.30pm, but come early, at 6pm the exhibit hall will open and there will be members of the Knudsen family present to answer questions about Koloa’s agricultural past. It’s a great treat to see old film footage of sugarcane production in the Koloa area from the early 1920′s through the 1990′s, and talk with former employees. The setting is outdoors and there will be plenty of vendors offering food and beverages. This is a not to be missed event.
On July 26 the organizers have slated a Craft Fair at 9am at the Point and Poipu on Pe’e Road. Live music at 3pm in the Old Koloa Town Courtyard will entertain until the Polynesian Revue and Fire Dancing at 7.30pm at the Poipu Village Center Stage on Poipu Road.
Wednesday, July 27 brings us the Mahaulepu Coastal Trail walk at 9.30am. Participants will start at CJM Stables and the walk will last 2 hours. Bring plenty of water, sunscreen and large hat. Our sun is quite strong even at this hour of the morning.
For something a little less strenuous is the Hawaiian games event held at 10am at the Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation Resort. If you ae too tired from all the great activities here is one that promises to please. Kukuiula Village will host a culinary plantation treats event at 4pm.
Thursday, July 28 at 9am at the Old Koloa Mill will feature a talk on the sugar industry as seen through the eyes of Earl Smith, a former Mill Superintendent at McBryde Sugar Co. Mr Darryl Kaneshiro will talk about plantation life growing up in the area. This event can accommodate a maximum of 50 participants. There will be a putting contest at 2pm at the Poipu Bay Golf Resort, admission is free and open to all ages. In the evening there will be a Luau Buffet and Dinner Show at 6pm at the Grand Hyatt Kauai.
Friday, July 29 there will be a number of events from a watercolor class held at 9am at Mahaulepu hosted by Malama Mahaulepu from 9am till noon. There is a charge of $15 for supplies. Later that day at 4pm are reminisces of life in Koloa Town by Niles Kagayama, former pastor of Koloa Union Church. This will be followed by Gail Little’s talk and tour of Old Koloa Town at 5.30 pm.
Saturday, July 30 is the annual Koloa Day Parade, the course will start in town and lead to the Anne Knudsen ballpark on Maluhia Road. Get your seat early because the headliner this year the ever popular musician songwriter Henry Kapono. Mr. Kapono has been singing of Hawaii for 50 years and is a legend in our State.
Sunday July 31 is the final event of the week, the Paddle Fest at 10am at Poipu Beach Park. Outrigger canoe and paddle board races along with entertainment, food and prizes will continue until 2pm.
We hope to see you at some of the events being held this upcoming week. I will be updating all week through Facebook and Twitter.