HONOLULU (AP) — This year’s Made in Hawaii Festival will feature more than 100 new vendors, an indication the annual event is growing in popularity.
The Honolulu event showcasing Hawaii products is marking its 19th year. It will be held Aug. 16 to 18.
Festival admission is $4 and free for children 6 and younger.
To be part of the showcase, at least 51 percent of a product’s wholesale value must be manufactured, assembled, fabricated or produced in Hawaii. Amy Hammond, the festival’s executive director, said products are “closely scrutinized” to ensure the festival’s integrity.
Hammond said that in the past, she had to beg people to exhibit. This year, there will be nearly 400 vendors. About 2,000 buyers from around the world are invited every year.
The Maui Economic Development Council is helping share vendor spaces to accommodate many new exhibitors from Maui, Hammond said.
“We think the outer islands have wonderful made-in-Hawaii products, so are grateful (for) the support our county has provided, to give us an opportunity to show what we have,” said Melanie Boudar, owner of Maui-based Sweet Paradise Chocolatier Ltd.
Wholesale buyers who can get products into stores and military outlets will have access to the festival before it opens to the public.
This is the first year a trolley will provide free service between the festival at Neal Blaisdell Center and several Waikiki hotels. The event is produced by the Hawaii Industry Food Association and sponsored by First Hawaiian Bank.