Hawaii Festival celebrates Kona coffee By Shane Nelson / October 08, 2015 Share 1 -- The 45th annual Kona Coffee Festival will include coffee-picking competitions. Organizers are busy finalizing details for the 45th annual Kona Coffee Festival, a 10-day celebration that kicks off Nov. 6 on the Big Island of Hawaii's west coast and will include more than 40 events. Featuring everything from behind-the-scenes coffee farm tours to coffee-picking competitions, art shows, hula performances, coffee recipe contests, a parade and the Miss Kona Coffee Scholarship Pageant at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa, the celebration offers a range of opportunities for travelers to mingle with Hawaii residents at one of the state's longest-running festivals. And visitors certainly shouldn't miss the event's two-day Kona Coffee Cupping Competition, held Nov. 11 and 12 and judged by an international panel of coffee experts. According to festival President Mel Morimoto, this year's competition will include entries from nearly 70 Kona coffee farms. "It's a very, very prestigious award to be crowned the winner of the cupping competition," he said, noting that java lovers can sample competing coffees at the event."It gives ultimate credit to the coffee farmers," Morimoto said, adding that coffee has been grown in Kona since the late 1820s. "It takes a heck of a lot of determination and hard work to put out a crop that has been consistently the highest grade." Visit konacoffeefest.com for a full schedule of events.