Label It Hawai‘i was one of the organizations present at the 3rd annual O‘ahu Taro Festival (formerly Haleiwa Taro Festival) held at Ala Moana Shopping Center this year.
Approximately 3500 attendees were present at the half-day event on Saturday morning, where informational booths, taro farmers, community groups, artists and cultural practitioners convened to celebrate taro, or kalo as it is known in Hawaiian. The festival was organized by the Ala Moana Farmer’s Market and Hui Aloha ‘Aina Momoma. The Taro Purity and 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 see mandatory labeling of foods containing GMOs after this year’s November 6th election.