There will be double the pleasure, double the fun at the free Hawaii Avocado Festival Saturday, April 13, at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa. The festival offers two stages headlining entertainment, culinary and agricultural activities, according to festival organizer Randyl Rupar.
The seventh annual event is a celebration of avocados — a versatile, locally grown fruit that’s a source of healthy monounsaturated fat. The Zero-Waste festival is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Sheraton lawn fronting Kaleiopapa Road.
Kumu Keala Ching will open the day with a Hawaiian pule (prayer), followed by chanting and hula. The entertainment stage lineup continues with Aunty Irma Kahekena Nahe Nahe at 11 a.m., Maka at noon, Big Island Blue Grass Band at 1 p.m., Sahra Indio at 2 p.m., 2 for the Show at 3 p.m. and Beginagain’s Wake at 4 p.m.
On the agriculture-culinary stage, there’s a full schedule of activities. Ty McDonald, of the Kona Extension Office of the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, leads a session on grafting avocados at 11 a.m. The popular panel discussion, “Keeping the Culture in Agriculture,” returns at noon with a 2013 version featuring local leaders concerned with agriculture, organic food and nutrition.
The second stage is also the location of the recipe contest, overseen by cookbook author and freelance food writer Sonia Martinez. Recipes are due by 11 a.m. and will be judged in three categories: entree, dessert and guacamole. Festival attendees can taste the entries at 12:30 p.m. and vote for the People’s Choice Award. Announcement of the winners is at 2 p.m. and top culinarians will receive gift certificates from Kealakekua Ranch Center. Recipe entry forms can be downloaded at www.avocadofestival.org.
Get the scoop on different varieties of avocados at an informative display by the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers. Enjoy a farmer’s market, arts and crafts booths, plus food vendors with avocado-themed cuisine. Geared for families, the festival offers keiki activities, a variety of healing arts and alternative energy demonstrations.
Also on display will be original festival art by Jean Love and event T-shirts. For information, contact Rupar at 936-5233 or visit www.avocadofestival.org.
The festival is sponsored by Sanctuary of Mana Ke‘a Gardens, Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers-West Hawaii and Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa.