Koloa Plantation Days Festival: July 22 — 31, 2011

Hawaii’s 26th annual celebration of plantation heritage and Kauai’s south shore

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Celebrations of sugar come in all shapes and sizes. Some consider an afternoon snack to be a celebration of all that sugar, when combined with things like dairy and wheat, can be. But considering the affect that the sugar industry has had on the state of Hawaii, it’s no wonder that they dedicate over a week to it.

Koloa Plantation Days, named for the Koloa plantation that was founded in 1835 and is no longer active (pictured above), celebrates the history of Hawaii’s sugar plantations on Kauai’s south shore. The first festival celebrating the sugar made at Koloa was held in 1985 with a luau and the act of bringing together the families of plantation workers was so appreciated, they’ve been celebrating every July since. With events like Hawaiian games, historic tours and videos, guided walks, and cooking demonstrations, it’s not hard to see why. (Photo courtesy of Flickr/smohundro)

This year’s schedule is packed with events that marry the historical, adventurous, and culinary significance of Hawaii’s sugar industry. Tennis tournaments and the Plantation Days Rodeo will work up appetites for events like a Paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) cookout, market stalls of “plantation treats,” and the indispensible luau. Historic film nights, live music, and a Polynesian revue round out the festivities.

Use the festival as the perfect excuse to stay at the Wyndham Koloa Lodge on Poipu Beach.