The theme this year was "I Grew up on Piopio Street". It is said that many of the people and businesses of Hilo have some connection to old Piopio St. Each of the story subjects of the festival commented over and over just how special it was to grow up on Piopio Street. It was a place where every one worked and played together and shared their customs, food, and good memories.
Historically, Piopio was an ili... a small subdivision of the Waiakea Ahupua'a. It was considered an ipukai or food bowl due to five highly productive spring fed inland ponds fed by the Waiakea River. These ponds were called the "The Royal Ponds" because the fish from the Waihole, Mohouli, Kalepolepo and Waiakea ponds were reserved exclusively for the king.
The festival featured the stories of:
Seiji Aoyagi, owner of Hawaii Junk, which was actually an international iron business.
Patty Carvalho Koga, who shares an incredible story about her tsunami experiences.
Jerry Kasamoto, whose father was Dr. Kasamoto, who had an office/hospital on Piopio Street.
Edward Shindo and the story of the Hilo Soda Works.
Janet Kinoshita Fujimoto, who shares another compelling story about surviving the 1960 tsunami.
There were also stories about the Meishoin Temple and the Miyamoto Store.