It won’t be that long before we start seeing Christmas decorations in retail stores — but it’s already on the minds of those shopping at the Made in Hawaii Festival.
Michelle Tanaka, of Aiea, says, “We come every year, it’s a great way to get a kick-start on Christmas shopping.”
This is the 25th annual festival by the Hawaii Food Industry Association.
Despite the food connection — many of the products at the three-day event — are not edible.
Rhyjahlei Tanaka of Aiea was holding two containers of scented slime. “The slime I’m giving to my friend Serenity we both have the same birthday and I’m going to Island Tumblers to celebrate her birthday.”
Several exhibitors knew demand for items with a certain theme would be hot this year.
Tanya Franco, from Kapahulu, says, “Anything to do with Mauna Kea, shirts, earrings, koa earrings anything with that, that’s basically what everybody’s looking for nowadays.”
Even if the materials come from elsewhere, everything sold at the Made in Hawaii Festival is made in the islands, by local hands.
Jayden Kage, of Makiki says, “It just supports like, the ohana that you have here, the family that really comes from the ‘aina, the ground, everyone around you, and just supporting local and you’re supporting your family.”
Maui residents Tiffany and Jerret Schaar had been to the Made in Maui County Festival in November and came to Oahu to see what the larger, statewide event was like.
In addition to what they bought, they got an extra bonus.
Jerret says, “I think so far, meeting the business owners. The young people that are putting together these local companies and supporting local. To me that has been the best thing so far.”
The festival runs Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and continues Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission is $7, though children under six get in free.
Parking tends to fill up quickly but there are additional parking options:
Blaisdell Center Parking
Valet parking via Ward Avenue
First come, first served
Frank Fasi Municipal Building
Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.