While any time of the year is a magical opportunity to visit the island of Kauai, there’s something special about the summertime that makes the taste of Hawaii all the more exceptional. The combination of great weather and nature is certainly at its most appealing during the summer months, but perhaps the primary factor that makes this time of the year so inviting is the variety of festivities that take place on Kauai every year. Everything from celebrations of the native foods and flavors to cultural jubilees that highlight Kauai’s customs and traditions are on full display all summer long. For those planning on lounging at a Kauai beach rental during the summertime, here are the essential festivals to check out during your stay:
“Culture and entertainment collide at Koloa Plantation Days.”
Koloa Plantation Days
Every mid-July marks another rendition of the Koloa Plantation Days on the southern shores of Kauai, a festival dedicated to honoring local traditions while spreading joy to travelers through all sorts of attractions and activities. This year’s Koloa Plantation Days will be held from July 17-26, and serves as an ode to ancestors of the island who arrived to work on the sugar plantations hundreds of years ago. This is an excellent opportunity to bring the whole family along, as there will be plenty of entertainment sources for travelers of all ages. Live music will be provided throughout the course of the festival, and visitors are encouraged to sign up for the multiple dance competitions that will take place during the week. At Koloa Plantation Days, you can spend the morning watching a parade go by, the afternoon attending a rodeo and conclude the evening with plenty of delicious food accompanied by traditional fire dancing shows. Koloa Plantation Days is a great way for visitors to get in touch with the roots of Kauai culture while still making the most of their vacation time.
Heiva I Kaua`i
If you aren’t already aware, dancing is one of the longest cultural traditions throughout the Hawaiian islands. For the 14th consecutive year, some of Kauai’s most talented dancers will gather at Heiva I Kaua`i on August 1 and 2 at the beautiful Kapa`a Beach Park. While the event is labeled as an international Tahitian dance competition, there is certainly more to the festivities than that. Visitors to Heiva I Kaua`i will not only get to witness a series of traditional Tahitian dances interpreted by a variety of different cultures, but will also have the luxury to dine from more than 40 local food vendors and shop among dozens of authentic Pacific Island arts and craft stores. The competitions take place during the day, but there will be more entertainment provided for guests as the sun goes down.
Sand Festival and Sand Castle/Sculpture Contest
Everyone loves making a good sand castle, especially if it’s on the beaches of Kauai. Of course, there is one summer festival that aims to separate the amateurs from the masters when it comes to this sacred shoreline art. The Sand Festival and Sand Castle/Sculpture Contest is a classic tradition held at Hanalei Beach Park, and this year’s event will take place on August 8. While anyone is free to sign up, spectators will be treated to dazzling displays of sand artwork, as well as accompanying live music and fantastic food. If you think you have what it takes to claim the top prize of an all-expenses​-paid trip to the U.S. Open Sand Sculpting Championship in San Diego during Labor Day weekend, then you can’t miss out on this contest.
Kauai County Farm Bureau Fair
Great food, tons of competitions and entertainment and dozens of rides and attractions are just some of the elements that make the Kauai County Farm Bureau Fair in Lihue a must-visit event for the whole family. The fair takes place from August 13-16, and is the place to be for spending a day indulging in everything from roller coasters to petting zoos to any type of carnival game you can imagine. Simply put, this is a great festival to take the children to, and can make any adult feel like a kid again.