Hawaii Food & Wine and Kona Coffee Festival Event Preview



The Kona Coffee Festival in Kona is one of the most anticipated events in Hawaii.  Everyone comes together to celebrate the coffee harvest with art, music, dance, cultural events, and tastings.  Working coffee farms cover thousands of acres throughout Kona, and many of them open to visitors who want to experience the ancient hand-picking traditions, and taste the fruits of five generations of labor.

Kona Coffee has deep roots in Hawaii’s history.  In the early 1800’s, the first coffee cuttings took root in the rich volcanic soil and perfect weather of Kona.  Hardworking families quickly adopted it as a regular crop, and it’s popularity on the mainland helped establish Kona Coffee as a new Hawaiian economic mainstay.  Celebrated by everyone from soldiers to royalty, it has become a major part of Kona’s identity and cultural heritage.  Today the value of the coffee crop is over $14 Million, with an annual production of about 3.8 million pounds.

Visit in early November to participate in the harvest yourself.  Enjoy the inspiring stories, song, art, and culinary works inspired by this simple plant.  Over 50 events take place over this 10-day festival. Here are a few of the highlights:


Kona Coffee Festival Event Guide

Art Exhibit at Donkey Mill Art Center | November 3-12

Kona Coffee Culture is the inspires the artwork of both adults and youth alike.  Visit this restored coffee mill for an educational experience that’s fun for the whole family.

Living History Farm Tour | November 3-1

Visit “America’s only living history coffee farm” to see production practices of 1926-1945, and hear the story of how the industry was saved through the kuriba and hoshidana methods of the industrious Japanese farmers.

Historic Village, Coffee, & Art Stroll | November 4

Take your time in the art district, visiting galleries and admiring the extensive range of local artistry.  Sample coffee from over 30 farms and purchase your favorite.

Kona Coffee Cupping Competition

Coffee farmers enter their best coffee and wait while a prestigious panel of judges sips through 50+ cups to determine the finest grower.

Coffee Picking & Farm Experience | November 4

Experience first-hand, the care and picking of ripe coffee cherries.  Learn how it transforms into the coffee drink beloved by millions around the world, and take home your own, fresh roasted, 2 oz bag.

Miss Kona Coffee Pageant | November 4

Contestants compete for the titles of Miss Kona Coffee and Miss Aloha Hawaii titles, and their accompanying scholarships.

Kona Coffee Recipe Contest | November 5

Anyone from amateurs to professional chefs present their best recipes in categories such as sweet, savory, and keiki snacks.  See culinary demonstrations, award presentations, and enjoy a public tasting afterward.

Festival Lantern Parade | November 10

The streets of Kailua Village are lit by a parade of colorful lanterns, an event which culminates in an evening of cultural music and dancing at Hale Halawai.

Traditional Ho’olaule’a Multi-Cultural Celebration | November 11

Food booths, lei contests, live entertainment and more are the main features of this signature event.  See cultural demonstrations, participate in making traditional poi, or try your hand at Japanese calligraphy.

More Annual Food & Drink Festivals In Hawaii

March – Kona Brewers Festival

May – Big Island Chocolate Festival

May – Ka’u Coffee Festival

June – Taste of Wailea

June – Kapalua Wine & Food Festival

August – Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Festival

September – Mealani’s Taste of Hawaii Range

September – Taste of Lahaina in Maui

November – Big Island Farm Fair in Kona

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