Hawaii celebrates favorite luncheon meat at Waikiki Spam Jam Festival this weekend


Fans of our favorite canned pink luncheon meat will gather on Oahu’s south shore this weekend for the 10th annual Waikiki Spam Jam Festival.

And what does it mean to be a “Spam-jammer?” Well, according to event organizers, it means that you’re up for trying the salty pork foodstuff served up in a variety of culinary styles. At the festival, set for 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sat., April 28, Spam-jammers will be sampling Spam Fusion Fajitas, Spam Katsu, Spam Won Ton, Spam Lau Lau, Spam Ravioli, Spam Tacos, and even Spam Poke.

Hawaii is jam-packed with Spam-jammers. We eat up nearly 7 million cans of Spam a year — more than any other state across the nation, according to Minnesota-based Hormel Foods, producers of the canned luncheon meat since 1937.

In a news release issued by the festival’s organizers, Barbara Campbell, vice president of Outrigger Enterprises Group, one of the event’s founding sponsors, said: “Since it’s inception in 2002, the Waikiki Spam Jam Festival has become one of the most popular festivals in Hawaii. This year, we’re expecting more than 20,000 people to join the festivities in Waikiki.”

As in years past, Kalakaua Avenue, the main thoroughfare through Waikiki, will be closed to automobile traffic during the festival, and admission is free. The blocked-off area will be lined with food booths.

A dozen or so Honolulu restaurants will be giving the humble comfort food glamorous makeovers. The expected offerings range from Spam Mahi Carbonara (Atlantis Seafood and Steak) to Spam Fried Rice Loco Moco and Spam Kanak Attack — Spam Fried Rice with Spam Katsu Loco Moco (Duke’s/Hula Grill). In case you’re wondering, kanak attack is island slang for the feeling of laziness one gets from eating too much.

Also, there’ll be entertainment stages and merchandise booths stocked with T-shirts, shorts and other Spam paraphernalia. In addition, volunteers will be on hand to collect donations of Spam products for the Hawaii Foodbank, the largest nonprofit in Hawaii that feeds the needy. Since 2004, more than 10,000 pounds of Spam have been donated to the foodbank, thanks to the festival.

For additional information about the Waikiki Spam Jam Festival, click here.

Categories: Culture, Food, Oʻahu