On Lanai, paying homage to the once-plentiful pineapple, now mostly a memory

Pineapple, the fruit that’s closely associated with the 50th state, will be cause for celebration on Lanai during the Fourth of July weekend.

The annual Lanai Pineapple Festival will be celebrated July 3 and 4 in Dole Park in Lanai City, population 3,100.

A baby pineapple grows on Lanai, once a top producer of the fruit. (Dana Edmunds/HTA)

After James Dole’s purchase of the island in 1922, his pineapple plantations once produced about 75% of the world’s pineapple, much of which was canned.

Only about 100 acres of Dole’s 20,000 acres remain under pineapple cultivation. The fruit now grown is just enough to meet the needs of locals. Thailand today produces about 20% of all pineapples.

But the celebration of the fruit’s association with Lanai continues. Bands, craft stalls, food booths and games will take over Dole Park from 3-9 p.m. each day. The festival is family-friendly and alcohol-free.


alt textLanai City’s Dole Park will host the family-friendly Lanai Pineapple Festival July 3 and 4. (Dana Edmunds/HTA)

The Independence Day entertainment will be provided by Hawaiian musician Willie K. His performance will be followed by fireworks at 9 p.m.

For those not overnighting on the island, Expeditions will operate a special ferry departing Manele, Lanai, for Lahaina, Maui, at 10 that evening.

alt textAn Expeditions ferry, pictured near Manele, will provide an extra sailing between Lanai and Maui on the evening of July 4. (Pierce M Myers Photography/HTA)

Ferry tickets cost $30 each way for adults and $20 for children. Three airlines--Island Air, Mokulele Airlines and Ohana by Hawaiian--also carry visitors to Lanai.

Lodging on Lanai during the festival will be very limited. The two Four Seasons resorts are closed for renovations until late in the year. That leaves the 11-room Hotel Lanai as the only other option.

alt textWith renovations underway at two Four Seasons resorts, the Hotel Lanai’s 11 rooms are the island’s only lodging option until late 2015. (LHP/HTA)

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