HANAPEPE — The “biggest little Carnival” wrapped up, Sunday in the Biggest Little Town, Hanapepe with the conclusion of the T-Ball tournament, and the weekly Kaua‘i Pop Warner Football League games at the Hanapepe Stadium.
“I couldn’t sleep all week,” said Alden Pablo, president of the Hanapepe Colts Pop Warner Association, and one of the principal organizers of the carnival that made its first appearance following the COVID-19 pandemic. “What if the people don’t come?”
Those concerns were shattered as hundreds of families and people thronged through the Hanapepe Stadium grounds where a T-Ball tournament that took up two baseball diamonds, and ongoing Pop Warner football games seeded the crowd to investigate food offerings, crafters, home-grown entertainment and games, and keiki rides.
It has been nearly three years since the last Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau Fair featuring the EK Fernandez rides and midway, and people have been waiting for this, Pablo said.
“We were so crowded, Saturday, the food vendors ran out of food,” the carnival organizer said. “Even the crafters were selling out of items. There were cars circling the block looking for parking. It was crowded!”
Food options stemmed from longtime game and fair experienced vendors, including the Waimea High School softball program, the KPWFL food vendors from Kapa‘a through Kekaha, that offered the unique cuisine found at carnivals and sporting events such as the Flying Saucers.
Pablo said the idea for the carnival stemmed from T-Ball, and combining the baseball with football with the Hanapepe Cubs. Funds generated from the family event help fuel the two community programs, such as the extra funding needed after the Hanapepe Colts cheer squad recently earned eligibility to the National Pop Warner Dance and Cheer Competition that takes place in Florida.
“Baseball had all kinds of tournament, everywhere,” Pablo said. “But there was nothing for the T-Ball players. We needed to have them feel special, too. The result is we had almost all the T-Ball teams on the island wanting to participate.”
Everything else built around the tournament and football games.
Source: The Garden Island