“THE LEGACY LIVES ON” – Thirty Years of Heritage and Vitality

Koloa Plantation Days 2015 is celebrating its 30th year with the theme, “The Legacy Lives On”, July 17 – 26, 2015.  Over 30 events celebrate the plantation heritage and modern-day vitality of Kauai’s south shore communities of Koloa and Poipu. During this 10-day family oriented festival, learn about Koloa’s multicultural history and the area’s unique ecological features and archaeological remnants.  Area resorts, community groups, and businesses in the Poipu and Koloa area present these events.

Koloa Plantation, founded in 1835, and the other sugar plantations in Hawaii brought contract laborers from Asia and Europe to work in the fields and the mills. In the plantation camps, the workers from each country shared the foods, music, stories, and traditions of their homelands. Koloa Plantation Days commemorates and celebrates plantation life through the parade and other activities designed to share this culture with our residents, keiki and visitors.

The festival opens with the 16th annual Plantation Days Rodeo weekend featuring championship roping, bull riding, and unique Hawaii events reflecting Paniolo culture. Multiple activities take place every day, including guided walks and talks of the area such as the historic Hapa Trail Walk and Old Koloa Town Walk, “talk stories” on plantation life, a visit to the Koloa Mill site and a historic film night and plantation era exhibit. Visitors will enjoy local foods, music and shopping throughout the week including craft fairs, cooking demonstrations, a free Polynesian revue and celebration events with great live local music.  Parents can bring their children to enjoy special activities like keiki fishing, outdoor Hawaiian games, mini golf and a Keiki Ukulele competition. Outdoor and sporting events include a doubles tennis tournament and a Family Fun Run along the shoreline.

This years’ colorful parade on Saturday, July 25 through Koloa town highlights the theme “The Legacy Lives On” with floral floats, walking and equestrian units, decorated vehicles, vintage cars, and a marching band.  This year is a special year commemorating Statehood, and several reunions are taking place to pay homage to this special time in Kauai history. After the parade, stroll to Knudsen (Koloa) Ball Park for a full day of festivities with non-stop entertainment, featuring music representing the diverse cultural mix from the sugar era.  For a $3 entry fee, residents and visitors enjoy music and entertainment, delicious local food, keiki rides and activities, a silent auction, and Kauai’s largest craft fair of Hawaii-made products make this a full day of fun.

Visit www.koloaplantationdays.com for more information and a full schedule of events, and to find ways to volunteer, join in, and support. Most events are free or minimal cost with sponsorship by the Hawaii Tourism Authority along with other local businesses, resorts and organizations including Koloa Rum.