St. Joseph’s stages annual weekend fundraiser Feast

St.+Joseph%27s+stages+annual+weekend+fundraiser+Feast

Photo by Kelsie Chong

The local band, Homestead, plays Friday evening at the St. Joseph’s Feast in Makawao on May 4, 2012. The feast continues until Sunday, May 6, 2012.

Kelsie Chong

By Kelsie Chong, features co-editor

MAKAWAO – The St. Joseph’s Feast annual fundraiser kicked off on Friday, May 4, 2012, continuing a tradition that dates back to the early 1900’s. The feast is held once a year with free admission.

The weekend-long event features a variety of local food prepared by volunteer parishioners. There is Portuguese bean soup, teriyaki plate, chicken hekka, hamburger steak, malasadas, pork adobo, mocha freeze, nachos and more.

Other local favorites include live entertainment by Augie Tulba, Homestead, Rising Strong, and Keaka Sardine to name a few, with appearances by SpongeBob, Elmo, Hello Kitty and the Cookie Monster.

Other attractions include the Country Store produce, plants, crafters, children games, face painting and keiki bouncers.

“Were having a wonderful time, we ate a lot of food, bought lots of vegetables, pickles, peppers, onions and all sorts of things…we’re enjoying the entertainment, too,” said Virginia Brown who attended the feast on Friday night.

Many of the feast-goers kept warm in the cold and rainy weather with jackets and boots on Friday night. This may have been a factor with what looked like lower-than-usual attendance that night.

“This year is much colder. I think much less came because of the rain,” said Mike from Kahului who attends the feast every year.

The incentive for the fundraiser began “way back in the 1900’s when missionaries wanted to build a church, so they started a fair to raise money,” said Donna Pico, chairperson of the feast.

Funds raised will help support Saint Joseph’s Church and School, as well as community programs, such as feeding the homeless, offering financial assistance to those in need and distributing food boxes to the hungry. Ms. Pico said that the money will also help with the new multi-purpose center that they hope to begin next year.  It will serve as the location for an Early Childhood Center and for community functions.

Kamehameha Maui senior Koa Rodrigues, an active member of the church, said that he has been working at the feast since his freshman year. His continuous volunteer service there helped him to finish all of the community service hours required for school.

“It’s really great to give back and help out and support my church,” he said.

Rodrigues works at the Mocha Freeze and chili and nachos booth every year.

The event opened Friday, May 4, 2012, and continued into Saturday. If you missed it, there is still one more day. The last day of the Feast is Sunday, May 6,  10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Pico said that planning for next year’s feast will begin all over again starting this August.