The theme for the 42nd annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival to be held November 2-11, 2012 is "Kona Coffee, 100% Gourmet."
The 2012 festival will feature nearly fifty events (many free) including contests, tastings, the second year featuring a parade combining the former Grand and Lantern parades, a scholarship pageant, farm tours, coffee workshops, art exhibits, the Ultimate Barista Challenge® Hawaii, a Kona Barista Jam, an outdoor concert and more.
The award-winning Kona Coffee Cultural Festival is recognized as the oldest and most successful food festival in Hawaii. The 10-day Festival celebrates Kona's special cultural heritage and recognizes the accomplishments of Kona coffee pioneers, farmers and artisans.
Main attractions include judging the finest Kona coffee in the state at the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Cupping Competition. A panel of international judges conducts a blind tasting where entries are assigned a number to assure anonymity. Judges look for high marks in fragrance, aroma, taste, nose, aftertaste and body. Foodies and culinary fans can catch professionals, culinary students, amateurs and kids in action creating unique recipes showcasing Kona coffee as an ingredient in entrees and desserts at the KTA Super Stores Kona Coffee Recipe Contest & Big Island Showcase.
Meet Kona coffee farmers and "talk story" while sampling estate brews and specialty food items or peruse boutique art galleries at the Holualoa Village Coffee & Art Stroll in historic Holualoa. No Festival is complete without a parade. The 2012 Kona Coffee Cultural Festival combines the former International Lantern Parade and the Kamehameha Schools Grand Parade into one parade where colorful floats, costumed ethnic groups, marching bands and equestrian units grace Kona's oceanfront.
Now let's take a look back at the 2008 festival. I hope this will give you a good idea of some of the great opportunities for culture, food, fun and even a bit of, dare I say, education.