HONOLULU — Local vendors and buyers eager to sample their wares jammed the Neil Blaisdell Hall and Arena today at the Made in Hawaii Festival.

True to this year’s theme, “Buy Hawaii, Keep Aloha Strong,” samples of local breads, jams, seasonings, coffee and chocolate had the crowds asking for more.

Displays of Hawaiian quilts, clothing, jewelry, art, koa wood furnishings and more filled the remainder of the 450 booths.

Well-known products, such as Kemoo Farms Happy Cakes or Waialua Coffee, complimented newer products, like Kaiulani Spices and the University of Hawaii’s Kulanui papaya-curry sauce, tantalizing tastebuds.

Many vendors offered products at discount or wholesale prices.

A true “local” event, people throughout the hall ran into old friends and colleagues, with lots of hugs and “howzits.”

Award winning musicians played on the entertainment stage in the Pikake Room and top culinary artists entertained the crowd with cooking demonstrations on the arena stage.

The Made in Hawaii Festival is produced by the Made in Hawaii Association and is sponsored by First Hawaiian Bank.

The festival continues through Sunday. Admission is $3 and parking is $5.

For more information, see: www.madeinhawaiifestival.com

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