HONOLULU -- Seven grass-roots cultural tourism projects on Kauai
received the Hawaii Tourism Authority's stamp of approval with
grants totaling $270,000.
Statewide, the HTA awarded $1.2 million in grants to groups
involved in tourism. The money is to help tourism-related groups'
projects that will increase visitor spending and length of stay.
The grants cover projects through July 2002.
The Office of Economic Development (OED) for the County of Kauai
was awarded a $100,000 grant for its Kauai Cooperative Festivals
Under the project, the OED will act as a liaison between the HTA
and Kauai's clubs and committees that sponsor events and festivals
throughout the year.
Two festivals receiving funding are on the west side of Kauai
near the town of Waimea.
The Waimea Town Celebration, set for Feb. 22 and 23, was awarded
Last year, the festival drew a crowd of 14,000, and 3,000 of the
attendees were visitors, according to Mark Nellis, president of the
West Kauai Professional Association, which organizes the
The celebration runs from 4 p.m. to midnight on Friday and from
10 a.m. to midnight on Saturday.
The highlight of the festival is a 10K fun run, said Nellis. The
festival also features free entertainment; an ice cream-eating
contest; a ukulele-playing contest; food, crafts and game booths;
canoe races; a rodeo, and a softball tournament.
Nellis said this year's grant from the HTA will go toward
producing a promotional video for television that will run on the
Kauai Visitor Information Channel.
The West Kauai Business & Professional Association received
a separate $10,000 grant to design an advertising video to promote
businesses and historic sites in Waimea, said Nellis.
For more details on the festival and events in Waimea, call
(808) 338-9957 or check the Internet at www.waimea.hawaiian.net/mainstreet/wtc.html.
Another festival on the west side of Kauai that received funding
is the Emalani Festival, which was awarded $15,000.
The festival is set for Oct. 13 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in
Koke'e State Park.
The event is put on by the Koke'e Natural History Museum to
commemorate Queen Emma's 1871 visit to the forest and Alaki Swamp
near Koke'e State Park.
According to Michelle Hookano, assistant to the director of the
museum, "In the morning of the festival the 'queen' comes down the
meadow on horseback, and all the hula groups that will perform that
day follow behind her."
The queen holds court all day while various hula groups dance
the day away. There also are crafts booths.
Hookano said this year she is working with island hotels to
secure free shuttles to the event.
For more details, call (808) 335-9975 or check the Internet at
Also on the west side of the island in Waimea, the Kauai
Economic Development Board received $75,000 to update interactive
computer information kiosks for visitors at the West Kauai Visitors
The kiosks and video screens in the center, which is open seven
days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., provide information on what to
do on Kauai.
The visitor center also has a gift shop with goods made only on
Kauai, visitor maps and permanent exhibits detailing the history of
Current exhibits cover sugar plantation life, Kauai cowboys and
exhibits on engineering and design history on Kauai. "If it's a
rainy day, you can come in and take a virtual helicopter ride
[over] Kauai with our video screen," said Aletha Kaohi, manager of
the visitor center.
On the east side of the island in Kapa'a, the HTA awarded two
organizations grants for the Royal Coconut Coast Coconut Festival
and the Kauai Products Fair.
The coconut festival received $20,000 from the HTA and is
planning its fifth yearly event for Oct. 6 and 7 at the Kapa'a
Beach Park, according to festival organizer Bob Bartolo.
"I'm a member of the Kapa'a Business Association, and we were
trying to get more visitor attention here, so I said, 'This is
Coconut Coast, why don't we have a coconut festival?' "
Visitors are asked for a $1 donation to get into the festival,
which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.
In addition to live music all day long, there are food booths
and a coconut cream pie eating contest.
Food and crafts vendors sell all kinds of coconut creations:
coconut shrimp; coconut hats, clocks and clothing; coconut
Christmas tree decorations, and coconut earrings to name a few.
The HTA also awarded $25,000 to the Kauai Products Fair, an
open-air market that features crafts and produce from local
Last year, according to the HTA, 156,000 people attended the
fair. This year the group is hoping to get 1,600 out-of-state
visitors per day at the fair.
The Kauai Products Fair is open Thursdays through Sundays from 9
a.m. to 5 p.m.
It is at the north end of Kapa'a next to the Red Dirt Shirt
For details, call (808) 246-0988 or check the Internet at www.kauaiproductsfair.com.