At the Made in Hawaii Festival, which starts this morning and continues through the weekend at the Neal S. Blaisdell Exhibition Arena and Exhibition Hall in Honolulu, the goods are Island-made — no made-elsewhere stickers allowed.
Everything, from trendy tropical clothing, fine art photography and food to crafts, jewelry and home furnishings must meet state law criteria for the “Made in Hawaii” label. If you’re on Oahu this weekend, this is the place to go to pick up real-deal Hawaii gifts and souvenirs for family, friends and — why not? — yourself.
Organizers of the festival, now in its 18th year, know that even the most intrepid shoppers need a break from cruising nearly 400 vendor booths. So, they’ve assembled a lineup of Hawaii musicians (including Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning performers) who will appear on an entertainment stage during the three-day event. Also, notable chefs from some of Hawaii’s favorite, award-winning restaurants will take turns on-stage to cook up their personal specialties while also sharing recipes, tips and techniques for preparing each dish. Click here for a schedule of musical entertainment chef demos.
This year’s festival will feature more than 70 new exhibitors. Among the newcomers: Aloha Spice Company (Kauai), with gourmet organic seasonings ranging from coffee-spiked rubs to aromatic hibiscus and lilikoi (passion fruit) sugars; Clear Light Jewelry (Maui), one-of-a-kind hand-painted shell jewelry made with natural, recycled mother of pearl shells, oil tints, and silver and pewter components; Da Secret Sauce (Big Island), Hawaiian chili pepper water made with a longtime family recipe; and Haute Sand (Oahu), children’s T-shirts featuring with “sandy” sea stars, sea urchins, sharks and turtles. For a full list of exhibitors, click here.
The fest’s hours for today and tomorrow are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and on Sun., Aug. 19, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission: $4 per person; and no charge for children age 6 and younger. For more information about the fest, which draws an estimated 35,000 attendees each year, click here.
Photos: Made in Hawaii Festival