Your Ultimate Guide to the Made in Hawai‘i Festival with 400 Local Vendors
Get a jump-start on your holiday shopping at the annual Honolulu event, now at Ala Moana Center, featuring a wonderland of clothes, jewelry, accessories and food.
The spotlight’s on local businesses at the Made in Hawai‘i Festival, which returns with nearly 400 vendors amassing for three days at Ala Moana Center. Get a head-start on shopping for the holidays by perusing through clothes, jewelry, accessories and food vendors. Here’s everything you need to know about the event.
What It Is
Presented by Mahi Pono and produced by the Hawai‘i Food Industry Association, the Made in Hawai‘i Festival has been running for 28 years. It’s shifted locations throughout the years – remember when it used to be held at the Neal Blaisdell Center? – and was held online during the pandemic.
What makes this festival unique is that to participate vendors must meet certain requirements—51% of the materials and labor needed to produce their goods must originate in the Islands, thus earning them an official Made in Hawai‘i certification under state law. So you know your purchases are really going to support local.
This year marks the return of live chef demonstrations, food samplings, and Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award-winning musicians. New this year is alcohol tasting with samples from Kona Brewing Co., Lanikai Brewing and Paradise Ciders for guests 21 years and older.
When and Where
The Made in Hawai‘i Festival takes place Friday, Nov. 11, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 12, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 13, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’ll be held at Ala Moana Center’s Level 3 Ewa Wing, next to T-Mobile.
Where to Park
For easiest access, park on the second level of the ‘Ewa wing parking structure near Bloomingdale’s and Morton’s Steakhouse. Once you park, you can take the elevators near the Bloomingdale’s entrance up to the third level. Another option is to park in front of Foodland. As you are facing Foodland, elevators are to the right – take them to the second floor and make a left at North Face.
How Much It Costs
This year, timed entry tickets will be sold by date and time for $13, with an allowance of up to 30-minutes past your reservation time. Shoppers gets two hours of shopping per ticket.
If you want unlimited time to shop, check out the all-day access pass for $35 that allows you in-and-out privileges throughout the day and no timed entry. Children six years and younger get in free when attending with an adult.
You can purchase tickets in-person if they aren’t sold out by then, but purchasing tickets online and in advance is highly recommended. Tickets will be emailed to you, so you can either print them out or show them on your phone.
What to Shop
There are, no joke, hundreds of fantastic local brands to shop offering everything from clothing and accessories to keiki finds, home décor, beauty products, pet goods and more.
One of our favorite things about the festival is checking out newer and up-and-coming brands in person. Here are the ones topping HONOLUU managing style editor Brie Thalmann’s personal must-see list (photos above):
- Aida Salehi Art: The North Shore artist’s prints, original paintings and holiday cards feature gorgeous florals and abstract ocean scenes.
- The Splinter Concept: Custom woodworker Davin Jaime will have several of his island-modern-style furniture pieces on display, plus a catalogue you can order from.
- Tag Aloha Co.: We’re loving this family-run Kailua brand’s pillows, beach towels, sarongs and hats featuring vibrant tropical prints by Hawai‘i artists.
- Kolohe Jewelry: We’ve been hearing fab things about this custom jewelry bar in Waikīkī and can’t wait to try on some of its sleek 14K gold-fill styles.
- Bujo Bae: Hilo-born designer Jenna Ikeda creates fun and sassy notepads, weekly and daily planners, washi tape, sticker sheets and more.
- L’Atelier de Claire: Scoop up all-natural bath, body and home items, including candles, lush soaps and the prettiest scented wax tablets topped with dried botanicals.
And the festival is a great opportunity to score goods from Neighbor Island-based designers and local indie boutiques that may be harder for you to get to otherwise.
We also suggest keeping a special look out for Best of Honolulu Award winners, including:
- Jewelry label Love Me Knots
- Boho clothing brand Yireh
- Tea towel maker Downtown General Store
- Plant curators Momo Terrascapes
- Eco foodcover brand Meli Wraps
- Gift and home goods creators Workshop 28
What to Eat
A ton of food and drink vendors will be selling ono eat, treats and gift items. Here are a few on our list to hit:
- Asato Family Shop: Everyone’s favorite shave ice-meets-sherbet shop with flavors like green river, li hing, pineapple and strawberry.
- Rocket Scientist Chili Hawai‘i: Try its soy-based meat alternatives for poultry, beef, chicken and more.
- Aloha ‘Āina Poi Co.: This Kaua‘i-based kalo company selling kūlolo, poi and chili pepper water.
- Kalāheo Jerky Co.: Its Hawai‘i-raised grass fed beef chips come in flavors such as garlic, lemon pepper, spicy garlic and more.
- Hawai‘i Candy Factory: Colorfully packaged chewy gummies pack a punch with flavors such as peach, watermelon, sour patches and Nerds.
- Hurricane Popcorn: The company’s popcorn comes in flavors like kim chee, sour cream and nori, mochi crunch, li hing and more.
Others vendors include Any Kine SNAX, Āhualoa Farms, Big Island Delights, Bit of Sugar, Aunty Nani’s Hawaiian Cookies, Dip Into Paradise, Donna’s Cookies, Kaua‘i Kookie LLC, Kaua‘i Sweet Shoppe, Honolulu Crack Seed, Inspired Bakery LLC, Lanikai Mochi, Paradise Kettle Corn, Oribe Tea LLC, Maffle Cookies, Meadow Gold Dairies Hawai‘i and much more.
Who to Watch
Enjoy live entertainment, music by Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning artists, cooking demonstrations by top Island chefs and more.
Friday, Nov. 11
10:30 a.m. Chef Randy Bangloy of Eating House 1849
11:15 a.m. Jason Yamaguchi of Mugen Waikīkī and Hawaiian Airlines Featured Chef
12:30 p.m. Bobby Moderow Jr.
2 p.m. Keilana
3:30 p.m. Melveen Leed
Saturday, Nov. 12
9:30 a.m. Chef Nico Chaize of Nico’s Pier 38
10:15 a.m. Chef Isaiah Badua of Roy’s Hawai‘i Kai
11 a.m. Chef Jason Ichiki of Roy’s Waikīkī
12:30 p.m. Hōkū Zuttermeister
1:15 p.m. 2021 Kani Ka Pila Grille Talent Search winner Kekoa Correa
2 p.m. Kawika Kahiapo
3:00 p.m. Kani Ka Pila Grille Talent Search
Sunday, Nov. 13
9:30 a.m. Chef Andrew Recca of Koko Head Cafe
10:15 a.m. Chef Bianca Alsip-Freeny of Tailor Made Custom Catering
11 a.m. Chef Keaka Lee of Kapa Hale
12:30 p.m. Frank De Lima
2 p.m. Del Beazley
3:30 p.m. Robi Kahakalau and Kala‘e Camarillo
- Commemorate your experience with a cute Made in Hawai‘i Festival T-shirt, available for preorder online for pickup at the festival. Available while supplies last for $30.
- Don’t forget to bring shopping tote bags to carry your newly purchased goods and to wear comfortable walking shoes.
- Consider arriving early to beat the crowds. The festival opens at 10 a.m. on Friday, 9 a.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. on Sunday.
- If you purchase a ticket to the festival, you automatically have a chance to win 160,000 HawaiianMiles. The winner will be selected at random on Nov. 13.
- Some vendors take cash only, so bring some along with your credit card. If you forget, there’s an ATM just outside the entrance of the festival near the restrooms by Happy Wahine.
More information and tickets are available at madeinhawaiifestival.com