Want to bring home some aloha?
Before returning home, most visitors to the Islands make it a point to pack their bags with all kinds of mementos from their Hawaiian vacation. From local treats and jewelry to craft items and aloha wear, there is a wide selection of “made in Hawaii” products throughout the state.
Made in Hawaii Festival
Perhaps the largest gathering of Island vendors is held each August at the Made in Hawaii Festival. This three-day event features some 400 exhibitors from the islands of Oahu, Maui, the Big Island, Kauai and Molokai. Items for sale include Hawaii-made apparel, jewelry, artworks, plants, fragrances, foods, crafts, wines, gift items and much more—everything from seat covers and rubber stamps to fried ice cream!
The Made in Hawaii Festival is produced by the Hawaii Food Industry Association and held at the Neal Blaisdell Center in Honolulu. Other highlights include live musical entertainment and cooking demonstrations by some of Hawaii’s premier chefs.
Pacific Handcrafters Guild’s craft fairs
Hawaii’s artisans are spotlighted at the Pacific Handcrafters Guild’s craft fairs at Thomas Square Park in Honolulu (on King Street, directly across the street from the Neal Blaisdell Center). Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2004, the non-profit organization holds four two-day fairs annually: spring, summer, fall and the highly popular Christmas Fair. All events are free and open to the public.
Giving homage to the ancient Hawaiians who used every resource they had to the fullest, PHG artisans craft turn natural materials such as woods, stones, shells, plants and feathers to create an amazing array of fine crafts, including baskets, jewelry, fine art, hula accessories, musical instruments, apparel and more.
The PHG is an organization that promotes local artisans by providing opportunities to exhibit and sell their work. All members must pass a rigorous screening process and are subject to on-going quality reviews.
Of course, you don’t need to wait for a craft fair or other special event to find some tangible memories of your Hawaiian stay. Each island offers a number of shopping opportunities, from major malls to endearing mom-and-pop shops. The term “shop till you drop” was made for places like Hawaii, the Aloha State!