Lanai Pineapple Festival
By Sarah Pacheco
The pineapple has grown into a symbol of the Hawaiian Islands ever since James Dole purchased the island of Lanai in 1922 to grow thesweet, juicy fruit. Thanks to Dole’s green thumb and ingenuity (canned pineapple, anyone?), the tiny island was soon an agricultural giant; in fact, at one point in time the plantations on Lanai were responsible for 75 percent of the world’s pineapple production!
While the majority of pineapple production ceased in the late 1980s – only about 100 acres remain today to supply enough fruit for local consumption – each summer Lanai celebrates its rich history as Hawaii’s “Pineapple Island” with the Lanai Pineapple Festival.
The Pineapple Festival will mark its 19th anniversary on Saturday, July 2, and it’s sure to be the best yet! Scheduled performers include award-winning Hawaiian entertainers Weldon Kekauoha and Anuhea, along with hula and Tahitian dancers and local crafters displaying their wares. There also will be numerous prize giveaways throughout the day.
And what would a Pineapple Festival be without pineapple? Be sure to come hungry, because there will be several pineapple eating contests and pineapple cooking competitions to tempt your taste buds, along with other food booths showcasing the tastiest island eats.
Festivities kick off at 3 p.m. and will conclude by 9 p.m. at picturesque Dole Park, located conveniently along Lanai Avenue in downtown Lanai City.
(Another fun fact: Now Lanai’s central town, Lanai City began life as a plantation camp built to accommodate the vast number of laborers who moved to the island to work in the pineapple fields.)
Admission to the Pineapple Festival is free.
For more information, visit http://www.lanaipineapplefestival.com.
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