When you announced you’re coming to Hawaii, did you get the “evil-eye” from jealous loved-ones left behind? It’s not that uncommon! After all, you’re getting the vacation of a lifetime, and that can make others green with envy!

But, we have a way to mend the fences when you return: Bring your left-behind loved-ones some unique, local products that are Made in Hawaii!

This weekend, August 19-21, the 3-day Made in Hawaii Festival is coming to the Neal Blaisdell Center in Honolulu, and you’ll be amazed at the variety and quality of the products on display, including food, books, art, gifts, fashions, plants, crafts, produce, and more.

And, when you need a break from shopping, you can also enjoy cooking demonstrations and ongoing entertainment.

A little history:

In 1995, State Representative David Morihara envisioned an event that would provide a venue to showcase all products made in Hawaii and provide an opportunity for companies to market themselves to retail buyers and consumers and test-market new products. Over the years the event has become a business incubator helping businesses test-market products at low-cost to thousands of patrons.

Thousands of people are expected to attend the 2016 Made in Hawaii Festival. The event is a great way to get your fill of locally-made products to take home to friends and loved-ones.

The number of exhibitor booths grew from 61 in 1995 to 100 in 1996, 150 in 1997 and increased annually to nearly 284 in year 2000. In 2001, the Festival expanded to include booths in both the Exhibition Hall and the Neal Blaisdell Center Arena with more than 380 booths. This year, the Made in Hawaii Festival will feature more than 475 booths.

Here’s a look at just a few of the exhibitors who will showcase their items this weekend at the Made in Hawaii Festival:

  • Natural Aloha: Local chemical free body and personal care products
  • Hawaiian Granola Company: Made in Hilo, Hawaii
  • Aunty LilikoiAward-winning passion fruit products
  • The Best of Kauai: Gourmet sea salts
  • Kona Skin Care: Mango cleanser, moisturizers, skin creams
  • Da Secret Sauce: Hawaiian sauce
  • Made with Aloha: Unique glass products

And, check-out some of the local celebrities/entertainers who will showcase their talents this weekend:

  • Executive Chef Russell Siu (3660 on the Rise)
  • Raiatea Helm (Hawaii entertainer)
  • Executive Chef Marc Freiberg (Mariposa at Neiman Marcus)
  • Executive Chef Ronnie Nasuti (Tiki’s Grill and Bar)
  • Chef David Lukela (Beachhouse at the Moana)
  • Chef JJ Reinhart (Bali Steak and Seafood Restaurant)
  • Executive Chef Lee Anne Wong (Koko Head Cafe)
The centerpiece of Hawaii's economy is small business. And, the 2016 Made in Hawaii Festival is a great way to showcase them to the world.

The event runs Friday – Sunday, August 19-21, 2016 Friday & Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.WHERE: Neal S. Blaisdell Exhibition Hall and Arena, 777 Ward Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii

Cost: $6; children six and under free; look for $1.00-off coupons at First Hawaiian Bank’s Oahu branches, starting in mid-August (while supplies last)

After a morning of fun and sun, submarine scooters, paragliding, or surfing, head to the Blaisdell Arena to wind-down and do some souvenir shopping. Your friends and loved-ones back home will thank you for their unique and local gifts!

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