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Kapaa: The Coconut Coast

Did you know that the east side of Kauai is known as the Coconut Coast?

Coconut palms can be found all over this area, growing in clusters near the resorts. Every year, the community celebrates its coconut pride with a festival that’s got people going nuts for coconuts!

Thousands flock to the two-day Coconut Festival, which features about 60 craft vendors and 21 cultural performances. Live cooking demos have also been a hit with event-goers. Most look forward to sampling coconut dishes made by executive chefs from nearby resorts. Even the Food Network showed some interest in the festival eats, featuring the event on its channel as well.

Another festival favorite? Fire-making, coconut-husking and fire-dancing! Don’t forget coconut-tree-climbing, too. A performer from Oahu’s Polynesian Cultural Center continues to wow crowds every year with his action-packed shows.

The coconut tree made its way to Hawaii via early Polynesian voyagers; hence, they are also called canoe plants, alongside kalo, bananas and kukui nut. Many do not realize how important the coconut tree has been to various Polynesian cultures. Called the tree of life, coconuts have been the source of food, medicine, shelter and clothing for many decades.

Thankfully, this festival continues to shed light on this very important plant. But more so, on a piece of island history that has been nothing but a blessing for many Polynesian cultures.

Posted by: Bruce Fisher on Oct 7, 2013