KONA, Hawaii (KHON2) — The 52nd Annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival is coming up Nov. 3 through Nov. 12.

Reigning Miss Kona Coffee, Shyla Victor, and Executive Director for the festival, Ally Brown, join KHON2 to talk about the festival and the fun that is planned for the 2023 event.

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The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival is the oldest food festival in Hawaiʻi. It takes place every November for 10 days and features Hawaiʻi’s Kona coffee pioneers, farmers and artisans.

Coffee first came to Kona when missionary Samuel Ruggles brought the trees to Hawaiʻi sometime during 1828 or 1829. The first arabica trees were taken from cuttings planted on Oʻahu a few years earlier.

It soon became very clear to Ruggles that coffee and Kona were a perfect match. Kona has rich, fertile, volcanic soil along with farming families that do not mind a bit of hard work.

The climate was also perfect for the berries and plants to grow. The hand-picked quality of Kona coffee is really what sets it apart.

Kona’s coffee culture was impacted by the coffee market crash of 1899. During this period, there was upheaval of the existing system as large plantations shifted to small Japanese-owned family farms.

As the plantations became of symbol of the past, the lands of the plantations were split up amongst the laborers into 3- and 5-acre lots and leased. However, by 1810, only the Japanese-owned farms remained.

There is something for everyone. These are a few of the events and happenings at the 2023 festival:

  • Made in Hawaiʻi Artisan Market.
  • Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Lantern Parade.
  • A multicultural showcase.
  • Holualoa Coffee and Art Stroll.
  • Cultural Activities at the Donkey Mill Art Center.
  • “The ‘Āina Speaks” Opening Reception and Award Presentation.
  • Miss Kona Coffee Scholarship Competition.
  • Little Miss Kona Coffee Scholarship Competition.
  • Kona Coffee Barista Training.
  • Kona Coffee Gamble: 60 Years.
  • Kona Coffee Latte Art Throwdown.
  • Kona’s Got Talent Showcase.
  • 100% Kona Coffee Half Marathon.
  • Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Ho’olaule’a.
  • Artist and Farmer Talk Story and Potluck.
  • KTA Super Stores Kona Coffee Recipe Contest, Big Island Showcase & Kona Coffee Expo.
  • The Grand Finale: A Taste of Kona.

You can click here for more information.

Buy a $5 Kona Coffee Cultural Festival button as your 2023 admission ticket to 10 days of Festival family friendly events and get special rates for ticketed events, too. Keiki ages 5 and under can attend for free.

These are the locations at which you can purchase the buttons:

  • Ace Hardware, Captain Cook and Kailua.
  • ChoiceMart.
  • Kona Chips.
  • The Coffee Shack.
  • Sandy’s Drive In.
  • Kona Historical Society.
  • KTA Express.
  • KTA, Keauhou and Kailua.
  • Donkey Mill Art Center.
  • Paul’s Place.
  • UCC Coffee.
  • Holualoa Ukulele Gallery.
  • Dovetail Gallery & Design Art.
  • Island Lava Java.
  • Dairy Queen – Kona Commons.
  • Innovations Hair Salon.
  • Keoni Coffee & Donkey Balls – Kona Inn.
  • Kona Mountain Coffee.
  • Menehune Coffee – Hotel King Kamehameha.
  • Big Island Toyota.
  • Quilt Passions.
  • Sea Quest Hawaiʻi.

All Café Bingo Participants:

  • Bikini Bottom Café.
  • Café Florian.
  • Green Flash Coffee.
  • Island Corner Café.
  • Kaya’s Organic Café.
  • Kona Coffee & Tea Café.
  • Kona Heaven.
  • Kona Mountain Coffee.
  • Menehune Coffee Company.
  • Peaberry and Galette Coffee Shop.
  • UCC Hawaiʻi Kona Coffee Estate.
  • White Nene Coffee Roasters & Mobile Café.

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While you are enjoying your cup of coffee for your morning wake up routine, remember that buying local supports local families.