Chocolate festival canceled for 2020

  • Palamanui culinary students Larrianne Diane Lagpacan, left, and Alice Petriyenko prepare lilikoi dragonfruit jam at the Big Island Chocolate Festival College Student Competition in 2019 at the Westin Hapuna Beach Hotel. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

Due to limitations on the size of groups during COVID-19, the Big Island Chocolate Festival is canceled for 2020. The next festival will be April 30-May 1, 2021, at the Westin Hapuna Beach Resort.

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association, festival proceeds benefit a variety of local nonprofits. The selected 2020 beneficiaries will be asked to participate for 2021. They include the culinary programs at Hawaii Community College Palamanui, Hawaii Island High Schools and Maui Community College, plus Hawaii Institute of Pacific Agriculture, Friends of the NELHA, Big Island Music & Arts Academy and Kona Dance & Performing Arts.

Over the last eight years, the festival has awarded over $140,000 to beneficiaries.

For more information, including tickets for the 2021 event, visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com

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