Made in Maui County Festival at MACC
Annual extravaganza takes over Kahului on Friday and Saturday
It’s a one-stop shop. Just about anything that your heart desires of what is produced here locally may be purchased or sampled or perused for the future.
Spanning two days on Friday and Saturday, the Made in Maui County Festival will draw more than 11,000 shoppers to the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s outdoor A&B Amphitheater in Kahului for what is being pegged as “Maui’s largest product show.”
Peruse from mamaki and lemongrass teas by Anahaki to dry-roasted chickpea snacks by Chic Naturals to coconut candy and mac-nut brittle by Hawaiian Heritage Farms.
“This year, over 140 vendors will showcase a myriad of Made-in-Maui-County products including foods, art, crafts, jewelry, fashion, gifts, home decor and collectibles,” says Teena Rasmussen, director of the County of Maui Mayor’s Office of Economic Development. “Of this total, 35 businesses are new to the event, 16 businesses are from Molokai, and five from Lanai. Additionally, Maui’s popular food trucks will be featured, three on Friday and 13 on Saturday — offering a myriad of island-inspired menu items.”
Festival vendors must meet certain criteria in order to participate, including having a business based in Maui Nui with products not only made here but with 51 percent of local ingredients in each value-added item.
Here’s how it works: Hard-core shoppers will want to attend Friday’s event from 1:30 to 6 p.m. to be first through the gate and to have lots of elbow room. The ticket price is $35 and it’s a weekday, which keeps the hordes at bay. Kids younger than 12 get in free.
The Exclusive Shopping Day on Friday will include the opening ceremonies festivities at 1:30 p.m. and complimentary pupu at 4 p.m. Food will tempting from three popular Maui food trucks until 5:30 pm.
Friday’s food trucks will include Crepes D’ Amour Maui with both sweet or savory French pancakes; Fatt Chicks Burgers with an array of beefy wonders; and Sparky’s Food Co. with everything from smoked meat plates to chicken katsu to laulau.
Attendees will also receive a free festival tote bag and have the opportunity to win a Grand Wailea resort getaway. You must be present to win. But do bring your eco-friendly shopping bags to fully stock up on everything, such as Aloha Spiced Cacao super foods, Bow Addo Inc. pet bow ties and bandanas, Hana Bee honey and beeswax, Colors of Joy pendants and Kumu Farms organic produce.
“This event is all about creating opportunities — both showcasing our island as a shopping destination and serving as a springboard for our local companies to take their business to the next level,” says Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa.
“The County is proud to be co-presenting this event with the Maui Chamber of Commerce,” he continues. “It’s a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening our island’s economic growth and development. Through these types of important partnerships and with the support of community-minded stakeholders, we can continue to make a difference in the future of Maui County’s economy.”
Also on Friday, qualified wholesale buyers may register online at www.mauicountyfestival.com/preview to get free admission to attend the special “Buyer’s Preview.”
From 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, the Big Festival Day will take over the MACC as the adult public pays $5 admission and children younger than 12 get in free.
“Saturday’s festivities will include product demonstrations, a fashion show, 13 food trucks, and prize drawings,” says Rasmussen. “The first 2,000 attendees will receive a free festival tote bag. Complimentary shuttles will be available to and from War Memorial Gym and Maui Arts & Cultural Center. Free parking will also be available at the UH-Maui College’s grass parking lot.”
Besides the sea of vendors that will include Maui Crisps with beef jerky, Maui Fruit Jewels with soft candy and fruit pastes and Kanemitsu Bakery on Molokai with its famous sweet bread, Saturday will be jumping with stage activities from start to finish of the event.
Master of Ceremonies Malika Dudley will host activities on the Hawaiian Airlines Event Stage in Yokouchi Pavilion, starting at 8:30 a.m. with a traditional Hawaiian blessing. Then at 9 a.m., Got Goat Milk? will be presented by owner Rebecca Woodburn-Rist of Haleakala Creamery with her resident goat co-star.
Haleakala Creamery specializes in handcrafted small-batch goat and cow’s milk caramel sauces, ice cream, and sweets using local ingredients found throughout the Hawaiian Islands.
Other stage presentations include Bacon Crack is Back! by Aloha Spice Cacao; Talk Story with Sarai Striklin, who will share stories on her creations; Keiki Fashion Show with special K9 guests; Good As Gold by Blue Hawaii Jewelry; Wearable Art by Molokai designer MyLei; Rainforest Art by Laura Mango of Hana; Fashion Show by Fresh Local Product, Wai Life, Sailbags Maui, Yasha jewelry and World Woodworks; Keeping it Spicy by Tiffany “Sassy Salsa” Smith; Cultural Collection by Keoki of Keawaike, Molokai; and Maui Manjookies by Janelle Fukuoka.
Other interesting vendors will include Maui Shrub Farm of Haiku, which infuses vinegar with island fruits and herbs that is used in cocktails, dressings and desserts; and Maui Tempeh of Wailuku, which makes peaceful protein from azuki beans that are inoculated with an ancient tempeh culture that grows fresh mushrooms. Products are Zuki Burgers and Peaceful Poke.
Made in Maui County Festival at a glance:
• What: The island’s largest product show runs for two days with 140 vendors and more at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului.
• On Friday: Gates will be open from 1:30 to 6 p.m. for the exclusive shopping day. Enjoy complimentary pupu at 4 p.m.; enter to win a Grand Wailea resort getaway; and get a free tote bag. Cost is $35 for adults; and keiki 12 and younger get in free. Qualified wholesale buyers can get in for free but must register online in advance at www.madeinmauicountyfestival.com/preview.
• On Saturday: The Big Festival Day will be jumping from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with product demos, a fashion show, 13 food trucks and prize drawings. The first 2,000 attendees will receive a free tote bag. Free shuttles will run all day from War Memorial Gym to MACC and free parking will be at UH-Maui College’s grass lot. Cost is $5 admission and free for keiki 12 and younger. You must buy tickets at MACC’s box office and cannot reserve in advance.
• For more details: Call 270-7710 or visit www.madeinmauicountyfestival.com.