The 23rd Annual Made in Hawaii Festival is officially in full swing.
The three-day showcase opened at 10 a.m. Friday at the Neal S. Blaisdell Exhibition Hall and Arena.
It features more than 400 companies from around the state, including more than five dozen vendors who are new to the festival this year.
“This year we have about 40 percent of our exhibitors coming from the neighbor islands, so we have a lot of new and different products people usually haven’t seen,” said Amy Hammond, the festival’s executive director. “We had a little bit, like I said, turnover, what we call ‘graduation’ from the Made in Hawaii Festival, and that’s some of them who have become so successful that they now actually need to source from other places, so they’re not really qualified. You must be 51-percent value added, manufactured, or fabricated in the state to be able to participate.”
Shoppers can peruse various booths for a variety of Hawaii-made products, including apparel and jewelry, gift and craft items, food products and produce, health and beauty products, books, artwork, and home accessories.
Kristal Gregg, who has a jewelry line called Kristal’s Treasures, is a first-time participant.
“There’s some dreams I’ve had, and this is one of them,” she said. “I went above and beyond to set up my booth. I kicked into high gear and said I’m going to go all out, all or nothing. We’re just excited. Clients are coming in, getting positive feedback, and they’re looking forward to us coming back next year and we will.”
There are also live stage entertainment and cooking demonstrations.
The festival runs through Friday at 9 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission is $6, children six and under get in free.