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Maui swap meet is back in business

The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photos

FIRST PHOTO: The swap meet at the University of Hawaii Maui College was already bustling with crowds in just its second week back in action. The popular event was closed in mid-March and reopened on June 12. Maui Swap Meet originator Will Wong said the crowd Saturday was better than expected. “It’s like a soft opening,” Wong said. “We’re actually a lot busier than I thought we would be. It’s like the 14 months we were absent didn’t make a difference.”

SECOND PHOTO LEFT: Wailuku ceramics artist Javier Gaytan shares his work with Toi Treister of Pasadena, Calif., during the Maui Swap Meet Saturday. Gaytan said it was great to see the Maui Swap Meet open again. “I’ve been at the swap meet for 10 years,” he said. “It’s good to see my repeat customers, to see everybody coming back.” The extended break was a challenge, he said. “It was stressful because we live in a tourist-based economy. I’m glad we were able to pull through.”

THIRD PHOTO RIGHT: Maui Mama Mana owner Lee Ann Houten holds a mirror for Deborah D’Artell of Los Angeles as she tries on one of Houten’s handmade necklaces Saturday. Houten said it was “wonderful” to have the swap meet back. “It’s like being born again. It was a long time to be cooped up.”

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