Cherry Blossom Festival in Waimea


The 20th Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival on Feb. 2 will be dedicated to the late Anne Field-Gomes. The Waimea resident served on numerous community organizations, including the Cherry Blossom Festival’s organizing committee.

Field-Gomes died Oct. 23 at age 84. She and her husband, David, will be recognized at the festival’s opening ceremony at 9 a.m. on the entertainment stage at the rear of Parker Ranch Center.

The festival will mark its 20th year with an anniversary exhibit and entertainment by some of the festival’s first performers.

For two decades, the free community festival has showcased the 60-year-old cherry trees planted at Church Row Park and the Japanese tradition of viewing them — hanami. The event, held annually the first Saturday of February, includes a variety of activities from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at venues throughout Waimea. Look for pink banners identifying site locations from the Parker Ranch Historic Homes on Mamalahoa Highway 190 to the Hawaiian Homestead Farmer’s Market on Highway 19.

The festival will feature an all-day lineup of Japanese and multicultural performing arts, plus hands-on demonstrations of bonsai, origami, traditional tea ceremony, fun mochi pounding and a host of colorful craft fairs. For more information, please call 961-8706.

“Anne was the hostess for the Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival; she’d walk among the venues to make sure all was going well,” said Roxcie Waltjen, festival coordinator, who serves as the culture and education administrator for the county Department of Parks and Recreation. “Both Anne and David were very involved and supportive of the festival.”

A dedicated volunteer, Field-Gomes was selected as the female Outstanding Older American for Hawaii Island in 1999. She was active for 20 years in AARP’s Tax Aid program and also volunteered for the Waimea Community Association, the South Kohala Traffic Safety Committee, the Friends of Thelma Parker Library and Trails and Greenways.

The Honolulu native was a 10-year volunteer at North Hawaii Community Hospital, working in the materials division, and she was active with the Hawaii County Democratic Party. She was also a member of St. James Church, Imiola Congregational Church, the Waimea Outdoor Circle and the Waimea Pupule Papale Red Hat Club.

Field-Gomes moved to the Big Island in 1986. Anne and David Gomes were married in 1989 during a square dance at Waimea’s Kahilu Town Hall.

“Anne enjoyed participating in the community and recruited me for many of her activities,” said David Gomes.

 

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