10th annual Aina Fest Sept. 7 pays tribute to resilience, culture and community

  • Hula Halau O Kukui Aloha O Kohala led by Kumu Leia Lawrence will make a return to the festival this year. (Photo courtesy Sarah Pulcino)
  • Fiona Schultz and her mom Amicheli learn how to pound ulu at a previous Kohala Aina Festival at Inhabit Farm in Kapaau. (Laura Shimabuku/West Hawaii Today file photo)
  • Keiki play under the teepees at the Kohala Aina Festival. (Laura Shimabuku/West Hawaii Today, file)

NORTH KOHALA — Come for a superb line-up of renowned musicians, stay for the yoga or agriculture workshops, or any of the other myriad events celebrating Hawaii and its land.

Hawaii Institute of Pacific Agriculture — or HIP Ag — is hosting the 10th annual Aina Fest from noon to 10 p.m. Sept. 7 at the Kohala Village HUB. Gates open at noon, with blessing at 12:30 p.m. The annual gathering celebrates all who are building a regenerative food system and resilience in our community, on our island and beyond.

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Enjoy several Hawaiian cultural components throughout the day, including a traditional Hawaiian blessing, lomi lomi workshop led by Kiwina De Soto, and a hula performance by Kohala’s Hula Halau O Kukui Aloha O Kohala, led by Kumu Leia Lawrence.

Live circus and aerial performances by Cirque Hale will entertain throughout the day, and Ruth Aloua will share her powerful spoken-word poetry.

Three yoga classes will be offered as well as a keiki zone with activities for kids of all ages, complimentary face-painting, circus arts, an educational talk on taking care of the ocean by Cirque Hale’s mermaid Chantel Durelli, a climbing jungle gym, and games and crafts led by Kohala’s Youth Librarian Leilani Silver.

Though it’s earlier on the calendar this year compared to previous ones, the festival continues to honor the Hawaiian tradition of makahiki season and the rich agricultural heritage of the moku of Kohala.

A celebration of local harvest, farmers, and the growing movement for islandwide food security and sovereignty, Aina Fest 2019 is an educational event designed to inspire more involvement in growing Hawaii’s vibrant local food system and more care for the earth that is our home.

All of the festival’s proceeds fund operations and programming for the HIP Ag, whose mission is to practice, teach, and deliver regenerative agricultural education programs. HIP Ag provides agricultural education and community ag initiatives including in-school programming, farm field trips, community events, farm-to-school and garden-to-cafeteria coordination, and local food production and aggregation.

General Admission tickets are $55 in advance, $65 at the gate. Discounted Youth tickets (ages 12-17) are $35 in advance, $45 at the door. Keiki aged 11 and under are free and must be accompanied by an adult.

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Discounted pre-sale tickets at: https://ainafest2019.brownpapertickets.com​.

More information at http://hipagriculture.org/aina-fest​ or Maya Parish at ​ainafest@hipagriculture.org​.

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