ALL about LOCAL
Original artwork, tropical treats, handcrafted jewelry and natural soaps are just a handful of the products attendees can expect to find this week at the second annual Made in Maui County Festival.
Thousands are expected to descend on the Maui Arts & Cultural Center on Friday and Saturday – with some surely to shop till they drop – as more than 140 product vendors gather to share their wares.
“This event showcases the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of each of our more than 140 vendors who help support and strengthen our diverse economic base,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa. “Their businesses provide an amazing array of gifts, artwork, clothing, jewelry, food and collectible items that appeal to visitors and locals alike.”
Maui County’s largest products show is presented by the county Office of Economic Development and the Maui Chamber of Commerce. It will kick off Friday with a special “Shoppers Preview,” with 500 tickets available to the general public. Serious shoppers can enjoy the head start from 2 to 6 p.m., and opening ceremonies are scheduled for around 5 p.m. in the Yokouchi Pavilion. Light refreshments will be served and attendees will receive a free festival tote bag.
Tickets for the preview event are $35 per person and are available at the MACC box office, by calling 242-7469 or online at www.mauiarts.org.
On Saturday, the main event opens to all from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Public admission is $5 at the gate, with children 12 and younger admitted for free. The first 2,000 attendees will receive a free tote bag, and the day’s festivities will include demonstrations, a fashion show, food trucks and prize drawings. Last year’s event drew more than 9,500 visitors and residents, with 130 vendors participating, according to the county, and this year is expected to draw even more lovers of all things Maui County.
“These products and vendors are a hallmark of the excellence that abounds in our community, and are truly a special part of what makes Maui County no ka oi,” Arakawa said.
- Product vendors had to meet certain criteria to participate, including having their business based in Maui County. Quality and creativity were also considered during the selection process.
Organizers say some of the goals behind the festival include strengthening the county’s business environment and local economy while supporting small businesses. Last year, vendors reported more than $300,000 in product sales transactions, more than 180 new accounts and wholesale orders closed and more than 1,000 leads for future sales and wholesale accounts generated, according to the county.
For more information, visit www.MadeInMauiCountyFestival.com.