“The Legacy Lives On” is the theme of the 30th annual Köloa Plantation Days festival, which will be held July 17 through 26 in old Köloa town. More than 30 events are planned to celebrate the plantation heritage and modern-day vitality of Kaua‘i’s south shore communities of Köloa and Po‘ipü. The festival provides a good opportunity to learn not only about Köloa ’s multicultural history, but also about the area’s ecological features and archaeological treasures. The events are presented by Po‘ipü- and Köloa -area resorts, community groups and businesses.
Köloa Plantation was established in 1835 and was Hawaii’s first commercial sugar plantation. Contract laborers imported from Asia and Europe made up the plantation workforce. They labored in the fields and mills. The workers from the various countries were brought together in a multiethnic, multicultural setting, where they shared the foods, music, stories and cultural traditions of their homelands with one another. Köloa Plantation Days celebrates that rich tradition through its parade and other activities.
The festival will open with its annual Plantation Days Rodeo weekend, featuring championship roping, bull riding and other events reflecting Hawaii’s paniolo culture. The rodeo will run over several days, beginning Friday, July 24, at 11 a.m. at the CJM Stables.
Activities are scheduled for every day of the festival, including guided tours of places such as the historic Hapa Trail Walk and Old Köloa Town Walk. There will be “talk story” sessions on plantation life, a visit to the Köloa Mill site, a film night and a plantation-era exhibit. Lots of activities are planned for the children, such as keiki fishing, outdoor Hawaiian games, mini golf and a keiki ‘ukulele competition.
This year’s parade through Köloa town will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 25. It will travel from Köloa School to Anne Knudsen Ballpark, where the Köloa Town Park Celebration will kick off at 11 a.m. The parade will include floral floats, walking and equestrian units, decorated vehicles, vintage cars and a marching band.
For a detailed schedule of events and activities, visit www.koloaplantationdays.com.