Hilo Jaycees 55th Annual Hawaii County Fair

Here it is, the County Fair… one of the bigger events in Hilo. We don’t get much happening around here!

Hilo Jaycees 55th Annual Hawaii County Fair

Candy Wagon & Ferris Wheel

Below is the entertainment tent where you can listen to live music and eat da grinds.

Entertainment/Food Tent

The main reason I went was for the food. I’ve heard a lot of people say that they have the best fried rice loco moco here. Some of my friends even said that that’s the only reason they go! I was excited to go… first stop was the food/entertainment tent, of course!

Here’s a sampling of what was offered… sorry about the blurry pics.

Spare Ribs Hawaiian Plate Manong’s Filipino Food

Spareribs, Hawaiian Plate, Manong’s Filipino Food… they even had Zippy’s curry. Eagerly we searched for the loco moco tent… until…

Loco Moco Line

Way at the end of the booths, the booth was there! Along with a long line… longer than any of the other lines, by far. It had to be good, right?

Here’s the Waiakea Pirate’s loco moco/fried rice menu.
Loco Moco Menu

Double Loco ($5.00), Fried Rice w/Egg ($4.00), Jaycee’s Special – fried rice, 1 egg, 1 hamburger patty ($5.50), Pirate’s Special – fried rice, 2 eggs, 2 hamburger patties ($6.50).

The eggs frying…
Frying da eggs

They use a huge wok to make the fried rice…
Making da fried rice

The condiments…
Loco Moco Condiments

So, what to choose? Since I came all the way this way for the food, I had to get the biggest thing on the menu, the Pirate’s Special!

Waiakea Pirate’s Double Fried Rice Loco Moco

A huge serving of fried rice, 2 hamburger patties, 2 eggs, and gravy all over.

Here’s a closeup of the patties…

Dry Hamburger patties

The Verdict?

Well, I had high expectations for this, and I tried to judge this loco moco fairly. I’ve also tried my best to enjoy it, but honestly, this was one of the worst loco mocos I’ve had! :(

The thing that brought it down the most was the burger patties. They were absolutely dry and crumbly, and the taste was bland and artificial tasting. It tasted almost like dog food (and yes, I’ve tried dog food before when I was little)! Why can’t they use homemade patties? The gravy was standard brown gravy – nothing special. The fried rice was just OK – a bit bland and mushy.

My friends said that this year was bad, but in the past years, it was better… so I really hope the loco mocos shape up next year. The Fair cannot continue like this! This is Hilo… we must represent with the loco mocos.

I’m glad I had a pepsi to wash it all down. *sigh*


26 Responses to “Hilo Jaycees 55th Annual Hawaii County Fair”

  1. Kirk Says:

    James – So you had to put all that ketchup on your loco? It must be pretty bad. I do miss those little County Fairs, but oh man, you made me wait, and page down, and page down for a lousy loco! Ha, hopefully next year will be better!
    Down with the mystery meat loco!

  2. James Says:

    I had to build up the suspense, eh! Actually, I usually don’t put ketchup on my locos… and if I do, just a little bit. The ketchup bottle put more on top than I expected. :P Either way, it was a bad loco.

  3. Dean Says:

    James, I too agree that the locos this year were not up to par ….I guess because they had the longest lines, they seemed to rush them out and quanity not quality was the BAD combonation this year.
    Looks like if you wanted a good loco, you had to get them as soon as the Fair opened and the lines were slim to none.

  4. Mealcentric Says:

    Man, I just stumbled onto your site from Kirk’s and your obsession with Loco Moco has made me VERY curious to try it. I looked at all the pics of it and my mouth is still watering. I mean, how could you go wrong with meat, gravy and egg?! I gotta find somewhere that does this in So Cal.

  5. James Says:

    Dean, yeah I was really dissapointed… I’m thinking that even if the lines were short, the loco would’ve still been bad. The burger patty that they chose to start with just didn’t taste right… did they use homemade patties in the past?

    Mealcentric, welcome to my loco moco obsessed food blog! I hope you find some locos in So Cal, and if you do, let me know and post it! It’s truly my obsession… I’m gonna go check out your blog now.

  6. Dean Says:

    In the past the patties seemed fresher… Pre-made tastes pre-made.>9

  7. lance Says:

    Man, what supense reading and looking at your pictures as I scrolled down the page. The full picture of the pirate’s special looks so ono. Then I enlarged the close up. Yep, the hambuger looked pre-made and dry. And you confirmed it. Too bad, all that anticipation. BTW, does “pirate’s” stand for “Pirate’s Corner” at Hilo High School? I guess that’s a dead give away as to where I’m from.

  8. Reid Says:

    Hi James,

    Too bad the loco moco was bad…don’t you hate that? I’ve had them here when they’ve been made with May’s and I don’t like it one bit. I like homemade much better.

  9. kyle Says:


    Reid said it all. As I mentioned on Kirk’s site, “a pre-made hamburger patty is a moco killer!” I totally hate that too when there’s a long line and you build up all this anticipation and whatever it is sucks!

  10. James Says:

    Lance, yeah man, the loco did look good! I was so excited until the first bite. I think the “Pirate’s” stands for the Waiakea Pirate’s baseball team. Thanks for visiting!

    Reid, I gotta tell you, this one was way worse than may’s. May’s is at least somewhat moist.

    … but as kyle mentioned… pretty much any pre-made burger is a “moco killer”! thanks for visiting :D

  11. Lope Says:

    james…you should try the fried rice loco at the lehua jaycees fair. when i lived in hilo i remember that the locos were always better at one fair than the other…i just don’t remember which one. it’s funny cause i haven’t been to a hilo fair in 5 years and it looks like the food set up is the same!! by the way, do the uh-hilo baseball boys still do the sodas?

  12. James Says:

    Lope, thanks for visiting! I’ll definately try the fried rice loco at Lehua Jaycees fair… when/where does that happens? Also, where do you live now?

    I forget who did the sodas this time, but will post more booths up next year! I’m gonna see if anything progressed. :P

  13. lope Says:

    hi, james. i think the lehua jaycees fair is sometime in the spring. i remember it being one fair per semester, so you’ll probably have to wait till next year for it. it’s also held at the civic and if i remember correctly, it’s almost exactly the same as the hilo jaycees fair! that’s hilo for ya! anyways, i now live back on o`ahu now, but hope to move back to hilo permanently some day….oh how i miss it!

  14. Big Island Grinds » Blog Archive » Mister D’s Loco Moco Says:

    [...] Sad to say, the burger really brought this one down. I believe that the burger was the same one I had in the loco moco at the County Fair. [...]

  15. lftpwxkctv Says:

    Thanks for this site!

  16. Big Island Grinds » 57th Annual County Fair Loco Moco Says:

    [...] since the 55th Annual County Fair, it’s been my civic duty to review the loco moco at the local county fair. I call it quality [...]

  17. terry Says:

    i was kind of disappointed im from the mainland and i went for the food also but i was expecting to get some fried cheese curds or breaded mushrooms and thier was none they should really get some in there they would make a killing with them

  18. Amelia Says:

    coming from minnesota, no fair is complete without some deep-fried cheese… *grin* course, we put everything you can think of on a stick and deep-fry it.

    ever tried a pickle stuffed with cream cheese deep fried on a stick? you can pretend its healthy ’cause there’s a cucumber involved…

  19. Aroha! Says:

    Most of the food and virtually all of the booth vended food is made to raise funds for community organizations…Looks like your loco was by the Waiakea Pirates…a little league baseball association…some of the people involved have done it before but many have not…so you’re bound to get variable quality. Last year I worked in a fried rice booth which did well…first time for me. First night I got good instruction and I think the product was good. Second night, I found all new people who had started only minutes before I arrived and it seemed like they got minimal instruction…the guy putting the ingredients in was throwing things in as fast as he could so things weren’t really getting cooked, like the bacon! When I politely suggested that we should let the bacon cook first, before dumping in the rest of the ingredients and rice, he gave me a smartass reply that it must be so bad that’s why there are so many people in line…typical guy jerk. Can’t be told there is a better way…I’ve always hoped we didn’t make people sick that night…Nice blog idea, James. Beware of county fair food booths!

  20. Skylynn Chavaries Says:

    This Years County Fair Was Fairly Good. The Rides Were… Allright. Where Was The Spin-Out? The Fireball Was Cool. The Hypnotisum Was Really Entertaining. The Food & Drinks Was A Bit Over Priced, & So Were The Tickets & Entry Fee. The Rides Were Too Squished On The Property. Lines Were Interfearing/Combining With Eachother. It Tends To Rain Every Year Around The Same Time. I Would Think That They Would Change The Event Date To Maybe A Different Time Of The Month. It Rains And Pours Every Year In The Middle Of September. You Would Think That They Would Know By Now Huh? I Guess Not…

  21. Liz Perreira Says:

    could u tell m ehow would i be able to obtain wrist bands for the up coming Fair. I heard that we had to get it online. Please reply to this message ASAP!!

    thank you,


  22. Michelle Kualii Says:

    I would like to know what time the contest for “So You think you can sing” starts, and if I can bring in my entry form to the contest.

  23. Mario Vitali Says:

    I am with Circus Extravaganza. We are currently mapping out our tour for the 2010 season. We would like to see how we might be able to help you give your patrons a new and exciting experience by having the circus Extravaganza at your fair. Could you tell me to whom I might be able to contact about this?
    Thank you very much,

    Mario Vitali

  24. Zar Says:

    I would to know if you have craft vendors at this event and who could I contact for this year or next. Mahalo

  25. hemorrhoids Says:


    [...]Big Island Grinds » Hilo Jaycees 55th Annual Hawaii County Fair[...]…

  26. Charlotte Cainglit & Ulu Kayona (Tutu's Kitchen) Says:

    I would like to find out who do we contact or If you have a number or website to request to be apart of this event as a food vendor for 2016 . my email address charandulu@aol.com mahalo nui ~

Leave a Reply