By Diane Ako
Marking a celebratory fifth year of honoring rice in Hawai‘i, the 5th Annual Hawaii Rice Festival has a full schedule planned for family and friends who attend the free festival on Sunday, September 28, 2014, which will run from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at Ward Centers.
Headlining the event is an impressive attempt to establish a Guinness World Record for the Largest Loco Moco, which will weigh more than 1,000 pounds.
Live entertainment is courtesy of Kapena, Jody Kamisato and the Ukulele Super Kids, EMKE, Honoka & Azita, Jason Tom (Hawaii’s Human Beatbox), Heat & Soul, and taiko drumming by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii. The event emcee will be 94.7 KUMU’s Bruddah Bryan.
Chef and celebrity cooking demos will showcase the talents of Colin Hazama of the Sheraton Waikiki paired with 2001 Miss Hawaii & OC16 The Pet Hui host Denby Dung; and Grant Kawasaki of Hawaiian Grown TV and Hawaiian Grown Kitchen on OC16 with KHON2 reporter Manolo Morales.
Family and friends can cheer on a speed eating race between 10 brave competitors at the 5th Annual SPAM Musubi Eating Contest.
A growing list of vendors includes: Lundberg Family Farms, Grill’N Out, Paletas Hawaii, The Alley Restaurant at Aiea Bowl, Hawaiian Twisted Tater, Eat da Bowl, Bubble Puff & Tea, Da Bag Place, Pop Pop Donuts, Hawaii's Fried Musubi, The Sugar Hut, Tea Girls Hawaii, MunchieZ by Sweet Pea Cafe, Beyond Burgers HI, Yum Restaurants, Spin Grill, Yajima-Ya, Hawaiian Fresh Farms, Shiga'licious / Aloha Cones, Milk Tea Hawaii, 'Ono Kettle Korn, Ono Pops, Tin Hut BBQ, Inferno's Pizza, Channel 808, Oceanic Time Warner Cable, VH07V, Susan Page Modeling, and Yelp. Rice Fest will offer delicious and unique rice dishes prepared by these local vendors.
The 5th Annual Rice Festival will graciously accept monetary and brown rice donations for Lanakila Pacific Meals on Wheels, the only island-wide meal service for seniors. Also, Rice Fest is partnering this year with Yum! Brands (KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell) and the World Hunger Relief to spread the #PassTheRedCup Movement that aims to provide food to help aid the global crisis of world hunger.
The Hawaii Rice Festival is a free, annual family-friendly event that celebrates Hawaii’s most beloved grain, bringing together food trucks, entertainment, celebrity chefs, cooking and eating competitions, and fun for the entire family. For general information, visit www.ricefest.com.