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Dazzling Array at Merrie Monarch Hawaiian Arts Fair

April 1, 2016, 4:16 PM HST (Updated April 1, 2016, 4:16 PM) · 2 Comments
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    “Everything is so authentic and amazing.” That, readers, was a quote from a teenage boy whom I overheard while shopping at the Merrie Monarch Invitational Hawaiian Arts Fair. It takes a lot to impress a teenage boy, as many of you know. He was right, though.

    The fair, being held at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium, runs until Saturday, April 2. Don’t delay, if you were planning to attend. Shopping was at a fever pitch.

    What sorts of goods will you find? The array is dazzling: clothing, jewelry, lei, flavored butters, body products, hand-painted silk scarves, household décor, crafts, packaged foods, books, hair decorations, and even Christmas items.

    The crowd is large and enthusiastic. There were booths I never could get into because they were so busy.

    “I came here to Christmas shop, but I’m buying for me,” said one customer at a jewelry booth.

    Even in the bathroom, women were re-doing their hairdos to sport their new hair decorations.

    Outside, customers were buying lei to wear to the evening’s events. The floral aroma was intoxicating and the colors were, well, all Hawai’i – in short, beautiful.

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    Traditional Hawaiian cultural crafts were also taking place.

    Commemorative t-shirts, posters, and programs celebrating the 53rd annual event were being sold at the fair.

    Daily Hawaiian entertainment, including Keali’’I Reichel, Mark Yamanaka, Darlene Ahuna and many others is scheduled.

    If you’re hungry, check out the assortment of food options.

    The Merrie Monarch Invitational Arts Fair runs through Saturday, April 2. Parking is plentiful near the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium. Admission is free.

    Tropical Treasures. Photo credit: Marla Walters.

    Tropical Treasures. Photo credit: Marla Walters.

    Ola Tropical Apothecary. Photo credit: Marla Walters.

    Ola Tropical Apothecary. Photo credit: Marla Walters.

    Noho Designs. Photo credit: Marla Walters.

    Noho Designs. Photo credit: Marla Walters.

    Napuaala. Photo credit: Marla Walters.

    Napuaala. Photo credit: Marla Walters.

    Mamalani Natural Body Products. Photo credit: Marla Walters.

    Mamalani Natural Body Products. Photo credit: Marla Walters.

    Liko Lehua Butters. Marla Walters.

    Liko Lehua Butters. Marla Walters.

    Lei. Photo credit: Marla Walters.

    Lei. Photo credit: Marla Walters.

    Lavena Hawai'i. Photo credit: Marla Walters.

    Lavena Hawai’i. Photo credit: Marla Walters.

    Kolo Mountain Wood Crafts. Photo credit: Marla Walters.

    Kolo Mountain Wood Crafts. Photo credit: Marla Walters.

    Aunty Mary Lou's. Photo credit: Marla Walters.

    Aunty Mary Lou’s. Photo credit: Marla Walters.

    Photo credit: Marla Walters.

    Photo credit: Marla Walters.

    Photo credit: Marla Walters.

    Photo credit: Marla Walters.

    Marla Walters
    Marla Walters is a transplant from Humboldt County, California. She has a multitude of writing experience as a Wise Bread staff writer, cookbook editor, and blogger. She has also written for The Purple Fig and Molly Green.
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