Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Lana‘i: Pineapple Festival, Part 1

As most of you know, Lana‘i is the small island that you can easily see from Lahaina. You may also recall that it was formerly a pineapple plantation. You may not know that it grew the sweetest, juiciest, most tasty pineapples in the world — in my humble opinion. Thus it was so sad to us pineapple lovers to have to settle for second-best (or worse) pineapples grown elsewhere. Thus it comes as no surprise that the residents of Lana‘i stage an annual festival to celebrate the pineapple's role in island history.

A personal note: this is the photo that USA Today chose to symbolize the Lana‘i Pineapple Festival for their "Best Specialty Food Festival" feature. If you have not voted (or not voted recently), the balloting is still going on. Note that you can vote once per day. Since Lana‘i has so few residents, we all need to help them make the top ten. You can vote by clicking here.

Fortunately, I was able to schedule my trip to the islands and join the residents of Lana‘i for the Pineapple Festival. Actually, I have already been involved in supporting the festival because of a good friend who helps organize it. My most important contribution was the creation of their website which helps publicize the event — to see it, click here.

How fitting for the Pineapple Festival that these volunteers were cutting up fresh pineapples for attendees to enjoy, free of charge. Some of us made many repeat trips to their booth.

Other booths were displaying and selling local-themed items — some for charity, others supporting their local businesses.

My little buddy, Johnny, decided to come with me to the festival — the two of us plus my wife rode the Excursions ferry from the harbor in Lahaina to Manele Harbor. Special buses were booked to take us up to Dole Park in Lana‘i City and later back to the harbor after the fireworks display, which would close the day's events.

Another vendor's display — this one consisting of handmade jewelry. Very cute.

This vendor, Cory Labang, has a studio on Lana`i where she sells her custom jewelry and handbags — as well as selling them at specialty boutiques on the Big Island and, naturally online. You can view more of her creations by clicking here.

This friendly guy was selling Aloha t-shirts — and spreading aloha at the same time.

Another vendor was displaying some beautiful jewelry using local shells, probably gathered personally at one of the local beaches.

Now this is a great idea — massages for those who have worn themselves out enjoying the festivities.

This is Mike Carroll who owns an art gallery on Lana`i. It is a wonderful shop to visit when you come the island.

I provided a number of photos to USA Today for use with their festival vote and I honestly thought they would use this one. I like it better than the one they selected. Oh well, the "customer" is always right, n'est-pas?

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com