In Hawaii, rice is its own food group. It’s a staple at every family potluck and in most local dishes. It’s comforting, delicious, and tastes like home.
Everyone has a favorite way to eat it. Piping hot with an egg cracked over it, shaped into onigiri (rice balls), or layered with Spam and wrapped in nori.
People in Hawaii also have historical ties to the grain, since many of our ancestors worked in the rice fields in the late 19th century. Although mass production drastically declined in the 1920s and ‘30s, rice remained a staple in the islands.
If you appreciate rice too, consider checking out the 6th Annual Hawaii Rice Festival on Saturday. The schedule includes cooking demonstrations, eating competitions, live entertainment, informative booths, and delicious food for purchase. Food vendors include Big City Diner, Hawaii’s Fried Musubi, Nani Kore, Paul’s Poppers, The Pig and the Lady, and more.
In addition to giving us the opportunity to enjoy our favorite dishes and treats, Rice Fest brings awareness to Lanakila Pacific’s Meals on Wheels program, which annually provides more than 260,000 meals to over 2,100 seniors on Oahu.
Monetary and brown rice donations to Lanakila Pacific will also be accepted at various Rice Fest booths, including HMSA’s. Although the amount of rice collected varies, more than 500 pounds of rice donations were collected to benefit Lanakila Pacific last year.
We look forward to seeing you at the HMSA booth, where you can take a photo with our musubi cut-out, enter to win prizes, and more. Leading up to Rice Fest, we'll also be featuring rice right here on Well-Being Hawaii. Check back for more!
WHAT: 6th Annual Hawaii Rice Festival (admission is free)
WHEN: Saturday, September 5 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
WHERE: Office Depot parking lot at Ward Village
WHY: To celebrate Hawaii’s favorite grain and help benefit Lanakila Pacific’s Meals on Wheels Program