Friday, Feb. 23, 2024 |
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The Wave Swinger thrills riders at the E.K. Fernandez Big Island Fair at Old Kona Airport Park in 2017. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today file photo)
Families enjoy the first night of the E.K. Fernandez Big Island Fair at Old Kona Airport Park in 2017 . (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today file photo)
A much anticipated and favorite family event will not be coming to the Big Island this year.
EK Fernandez, the family run business who brought the fair to outer islands for more than 30 years confirmed Tuesday that the much anticipated event will not be gracing our island this year, or for any time in the foreseeable future.
The fair, which brought carnival rides, games and food, along with fundraising opportunities to non profits on the island cited rising costs in transportation and lodging as the reason for the annual event’s cancellation on all of the outer islands.
“We will only be holding the state fair in Honolulu this year because of the rising costs to bring it to outer islands,” said a spokesperson for EK Fernandez, the 120 year old family run business who has brought the fair to Kona’s Old Airport Park, previously partnering with the Kona Farm Bureau.
The fair last made it’s appearance in Kona in 2019, before the pandemic, bringing rides such as the Super Sizzler, Zipper and Wave Swinger among other favorites to the Big Island.
For many Big Island keiki, the fair was the closest thing to an amusement park they would experience.
“We looked at expenses versus revenue and it just wasn’t feasible,” the spokesperson said.
The company said they unsuccessfully tried to partner with the counties and other local sponsors to bring the fair to the outer islands.
“Between shipping the rides and finding hotel accommodations for our crew, the cost was just prohibitive,” she said.
The 50th State Fair will still be held on Oahu from May 26 to June 9 at the Aloha Stadium parking lot, where all 18 of the EK Fernandez rides will be featured.
For now, that will be the only venue in the state where families will be able to experience the carnival in the state.
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