For Immediate Release
Approximately 3500 people attended the 3rd annual O'ahu Taro Festival (formerly Haleiwa Taro Festival) held at Ala Moana Shopping Center. The half-day event this past Saturday morning featured informational booths, taro farmers, chefs, community groups, artists and cultural practitioners who convened to celebrate taro, the traditional Hawaiian staple food. The festival was organized by the Ala Moana Farmer's Market and Hui Aloha 'Aina Momoma. The Taro Security Task Force was in charge of the Queen Emma's Challenge, a contest for the best specimens of both wetland and dryland taro.
One of the many high points of the festival occurred when mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano and Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee candidate came together to pound poi on the traditional papa ku'i 'ai, alongside others from the community. The two political candidates also participated in a group photo op to send a message of support for California's Proposition 37 ballot initiative, which hopes to implement mandatory labeling of foods containing GMOs after this year's November 6th election.