Made in Maui County Festival

‘Shop till you drop’ with 140 vendors, live music, food and prize giveaways

A Bow Addo representative at last year’s Made in Maui County Festival at Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului showcases her pet-friendly items. This year, it will once again feature its pet bows and ties and 20 percent of its sales will be donated to Maui Humane Society. MIMC Festival photo

Move over, big-box stores. The fifth annual Made in Maui County Festival is looming large on Friday and Saturday at Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului — and thousands of attendees will buy locally crafted holiday gifts, eat local foods, sip local beverages and shop till they drop.

The county’s largest vendor showcase will feature 140 businesses — 40 of which will offer myriad food products for gifting and eating.

Maui Coffee Association will be brewing isle java. Maui Fruit Jewels will sparkle with its unique fruit-jelly candies. Barking Deer Farm will purvey culinary seasonings. Chic Naturals will let you crunch dry-roasted garbanzo bean snacks. Grandpa Joe’s will tempt kids with organic cotton candy and caramel corn.

The list goes on and on. Hana Gold will be ripe for the picking with pineapples. Hawaii Sea Spirits and Hali’imaile Distilling Co. will bring craft products. Maui Crisps will get you crunching its paper-thin beef jerky. And Kanemitsu Bakery of Molokai will bake breads.

The “Exclusive Shopping Day” will be from 1:30 to 6 p.m. Friday for those who want to pay more to be first through the gate for leisurely shopping.

Heidi Cramer displays her new Maui Cookie Lab by Maui Sweet Cakes dessert line. Buy them fresh from the oven Friday and Saturday. The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo

The opening ceremony is sponsored by Alaska Airlines. Complimentary light pupu will be served starting at 5 p.m. in Yokouchi Pavilion.

Food will also be available for purchase from three food trucks in Pasha Hawaii Food Court until 5:30 p.m. The food trucks are Da Nani Pirates, Only Ono BBQ and Humbowl Wagon.

“The Made in Maui County Festival was designed to be more than just a large community celebration promoting local artisans and manufacturing businesses on a single day,” says Teena Rasmussen, director of the County of Maui Mayor’s Office of Economic Development.

“It was created to help grow our islands’ small businesses long-term by providing them with opportunities to showcase to prospective wholesalers and connect with new customers, who will place orders year round.”

Since it launched in 2014, this annual event has attracted more than 40,400 attendees, with participating vendors reporting $1.8 million in total festival product sales, 982 new wholesale accounts and 6,291 hot leads gained at the two-day event.

Attendees have a chance to win roundtrip air travel for two on Alaska Airlines and a Grand Wailea Resort getaway prize (must be present to win). All shoppers receive a free festival tote on Friday and may enjoy free event parking at the MACC or the UH Maui College paved parking lot on Wahinepio Avenue.

The “Big Festival Day” runs from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Entertainers are reggae master Marty Dread, folk rock singer-guitarist Pat Simmons Jr., and Hawaii greats George Kahumoku Jr., with brothers Kaui and Kaumanu Kahaiali’i. Malika Dudley will emcee for them and fashion and talk shows all day.

Hungry? Find local favorites and other ethnic fare at 15 food trucks parked in the Pasha Hawaii Food Court that is designated a zero-waste zone.

The list of food trucks includes Aloha Thai Fusion; Al’s BBQ Pit; Bentos and Banquets by Bernard; Big Beach BBQ; Brekkie Bowls; Coconut Caboose; DeRay’s Poi Mochi; Fatt Chicks Burgers, Brews and Grill; Maui Fresh Streatery; Pastele House Maui; Smoke & Spice; Sparkey’s Food Company; Teddy’s Bigger Burgers and Three’s Bar & Grill. Dessert lovers may indulge in the marriage of Roselani Ice Cream vanilla-bean flavor and Maui Brewing Co. root beer in a special festival float.

Shoppers have a chance to win 120,000 HawaiianMiles, a Pasha Hawaii Certificate of Passage good for one personal vehicle to or from San Diego and Maui, as well as a host of other products. The first 2,000 attendees will receive a free festival tote. Free shuttles will run from War Memorial Gym and the MACC. Free parking will also be at the University of Hawaii Maui College’s grass parking lot.

• Exclusive Shopping Day: Hours are 1:30 to 6 p.m. Friday. Cost is $35 per adult and free for kids 12 and younger. For tickets, call 242-7469 or visit www.mauiarts.org/MIMCF.

• Big Festival Day: Runs from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $5 (purchase on day of event only at MACC box office). Children 5 and younger get in free.

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