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Taste of Hawai‘i is a go, tickets available online for June 4 event

WAILUA — The Rotary Club of Kapa‘a Taste of Hawai‘i is back.

Debuting in 1988 as “the first culinary event of its kind in Hawai‘i,” the Taste of Hawai‘i opened at Coco Palms Resort when the Rotary Club of Kapa‘a enlisted premier chefs to serve samples of entrees, while fundraising to benefit local service projects and scholarships.

“Over the next three decades, the event has been postponed only five times — two because of natural disasters, Hurricane Iniki in 1992, and the flooding, landslides and road closures in 2018,” said Josie Cortez, the Rotary Club of Kapa‘a’s president, and the Taste event coordinator.

“COVID-19 restrictions tabled the event during 2020, 2021, and 2022. Coordination to return for the 31st year faced numerous challenges — crucial long term business relationships and partners were either no longer in business, short-staffed or implemented new cumbersome procedures.”

But the Rotary Club persevered with the goal of opening the 31st annual Taste of Hawai‘i.

“Not discouraged, we found ways to pivot and move forward by reaching out to business owners for a solution,” Cortez said. “The 31st Rotary Club of Kapa‘a Taste of Hawai‘i is a go!”

This year’s Taste will take place at the Smith’s Tropical Paradise on June 4 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and feature more than 25 chefs from throughout the Hawaiian Islands, more than 10 beverage vendors, and more than 12 musical entertainment groups. The popular silent auction is also back.

Voted the “Best Community Event on Kaua‘i,” parking for the Taste will be at Vidinha Stadium parking area with a shuttle to and from Smith’s Tropical Paradise, and consumers of alcoholic beverages must present valid identification.

“This year, our guests will be transported in school buses — thank you to Akita Enterprises for transporting our guests,” Cortez said.

“Delivery and removal of items will be done by a moving company — mahalo Kaua‘i Movers for delivery and return of tables and benches. The Rotary Club of Kapa‘a sends a huge mahalo to the various businesses who took time to help us find solutions allowing us to once again present Taste of Hawai‘i.”

Tickets for the 31st annual Taste of Hawai‘i, billed as “The Ultimate Sunday Brunch,” are available at, or

Organizers encourage the pre-sale online ticket sales by offering admission at a discounted rate over tickets that will be also available at the gate on the day of the event.

Donations and sponsorship opportunities are available by visiting


Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 808-245-0453 or
Source: The Garden Island

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