There is an obvious lure about Hawaii that brings many vacationers here from around the world.We all know what it is… the beach, the warm, year-round climate, the tropical scenery, the laid back lifestyle of the locals. But aside from these quintessential characteristics, Hawaii is an extremely robust location that is unique from other tropical destinations like Mexico, Florida or the Caribbean. There is much to unearth here in Hawaii, and for anyone looking to vacation someplace exceptional and exciting, I think you’ll find many unique things about the island chain of Hawaii.
Spam, the precooked canned meat product, enjoys unparalleled popularity in Hawaii. The annual street festival Waikiki Spam Jam is a family-friendly celebration of all things Spam that features food, entertainment, and arts and crafts. Proceeds of the event are given to the Hawaii Foodbank, a vital community organization that provides food to Hawaii’s needy families.
What started as a quirky, small event in a Waikiki hotel twelve years ago has since grown into one of Hawaii’s biggest street festivals, attracting upwards of 25,000 attendees each year. Considering that more Spam is consumed per capita in Hawaii than in any other state, a celebration here of the curious product isn’t that unusual. Nearly seven million cans are consumed in Hawaii each year. Hawaii’s population is less than 1.5 million.
Obviously, the cuisine at the Waikiki Spam Jam is the main attraction. Tops chefs from some of Hawaii’s most popular restaurants create dishes highlighting Spam specifically for the event. The Hard Rock Café Waikiki, Jimmy Buffett’s at the Beachcomber, PF Chang’s, and Hula Grill are just a handful of establishments that will create innovative Spam-themed dishes specifically for the Waikiki Spam Jam. Spam Jam has created a successful formula by incorporating music and arts and crafts into the festival’s scope. The block party features two separate stages with eleven groups ranging from traditional hula halau and Hawaiian music to classic and modern rock and pop hits.
One of the major attractions of the Waikiki Spam Jam’s entertainment lineup each year is Legends in Concert Waikiki. Perhaps Waikiki’s most sought-after stage shows, this extravagant production brings the music and experience of Elvis, Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Brittney Spears to life with electrifying performances of those artists’ biggest hit songs.
What makes the Waikiki Spam Jam such a vital community and visitor event is the fact that it allows attendees to actively participate in supporting worthy Hawaii non-profit organizations. In addition to the thousands of dollars in food and cash donations made at the Waikiki Spam Jam each year to the Hawaii Foodbank, the Waikiki Spam Jam also supports the Waikiki Health Center and the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii, which offers assistance to visitors and their families who have been victimized by injury, crime, or other misfortunate adversities while visiting the Aloha State.
The Waikiki Spam Jam also brings in nearly a dozen Hawaii crafters, offering hand-made items ranging from handbags to picture frames to jewelry and wooden sculpture.
The Waikiki Spam Jam is a singular experience, and quite unlike any other street festival in the world. Several blocks of one of the most popular visitor destinations in the world are shut down to accommodate thousands of tourists and residents alike to support the worthy cause of helping Hawaii’s needy families. And, you certainly won’t find a peanut butter ice cream with candied Spam anywhere else in the world.
For more information, visit www.spamjamhawaii.com.
Posted by: Bruce Fisher on Apr 15, 2014