PUHI — The long wait is finally over. The hosts of the popular Saturday Grove Farm Market announced, Tuesday that it will be hosting the first-ever Bon Odori Festival for two nights at the Puhi Park.
Due to safety concerns from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kaua‘i Buddhist Council earlier issued a no-bon dance advisory for all of its member churches. Under this guidance, member churches and temples could host individual bon service, and fundraising events without the traditional odori dancing.
“We are grateful to have permission from the Buddhist temples to host our first Bon Odori Festival on July 29 and 30 from 5:30 to 10 p.m. on each night,” Grove Farm states in its online announcement. “We wanted to offer an opportunity for our community to enjoy bon dance festivities again.”
Summers on Kaua‘i are synoymous with bon dances as individual churches and temples host the odori festivitals with food, music, country stores, and odori, or dancing. The arrival of the novel coronavirus on Kaua‘i put an end to this tradition of remembering those who have departed for the past three years.
“We are planning a full program of dancing, entertainment, food booths, and taiko drumming,” Grove Farm organizers said. “Masks are encouraged and, as always, please be mindful of your overall health before joining us at Puhi Park.”
Savory bon dance foods like flying saucers, andagi, yakitori, beef sticks, saimin, and more will be available.
Hui Alu, the local Okinawa club whose celebratory events have also been impacted by the pandemic, will be offering Okinawan Pork and Yakisoba plates.
Halau Ka Lei Mokihana, recently receiving accolades after achieving a clean sweep at the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival, will be heading up efforts with Flying Saucers and saimin.
Kaua‘i Kim Chee whose aroma blankets the weekly Saturday Grove Farm Market, will fire up the grills for Teriyaki Beef Sticks, Teriyaki Chicken, Tinono, and Kalbi.
Paukea Grill’s Kristen Yanagawa who has connections with the Kapa‘a Hongwanji Mission, will be offering andagi, poke bowls, and nishime bowls, and KC Drive-Inn will offer its well-known KC Waffle Dogs.
The Koloa Elementary School and the Elsie Wilcox Elementary School will combine efforts to offer ice cream and Root Beer Floats, while the Scouts of America will be doing assorted beverage duty.
Entertainment stations include the Keiki Fish Pond, the Cognition Learning Center, Taiko Kaua‘i, Tsunami Taiko, and the Kaua‘i Ondo Drummers.
Source: The Garden Island