Banana Poka Round-Up Festival

The invasive banana poka plant grows quickly in Hawaii’s forests, creating a blanket that chokes out the vital light needed for native Hawaiian plants to flourish. Hui O Laka, the nonprofit organization charged with interpreting Koke’e State Park to visitors and residents, invited the community to join its annual Banana Poka Round-Up recently at the Kanaloahuluhulu Meadow.

As happens each year, the festival included a basket-weaving workshop using the alien vines, and the Crow for Koke’e contest. Also on the program were live Hawaiian music, hiking, keiki parading in bird costumes, face painting, crafts and educational exhibits. And, for the first time, the festival collaborated in an uphill 15.75-mile bicycle race.

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