WAILUKU - The Mayor's Office of Economic Development announced that the inaugural Made in Maui County Festival will be held Nov. 7-8, 2014 at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.
Approximately 6,000 to 8,000 residents and visitors are anticipated to attend the event, which will showcase a wide variety of made in Maui County products, including foods, produce, art, crafts, jewelry, fashion, gifts, collectibles and more in one location.
Planning for the first-ever festival is in full swing, with vendor applications and sponsorship forms now being accepted on the event's official website at www.MadeInMauiCountyFestival.com.
The event is being presented by the Mayor's Office of Economic Development in partnership with the Maui Chamber of Commerce.
"This new festival will benefit our local economy in many ways," said Mayor Alan Arakawa. "Besides giving local merchants the chance to showcase and sell their locally produced items, it stimulates our economy as a whole by bringing in interested shoppers to our island. In other words, everyone benefits both directly and indirectly from the festival."
Vendors must be based in Maui County and feature a minimum of 51 percent value-added in Hawaii. Booth space will be assigned based on the type of product and on a first-come, first-served basis.
Sponsorship opportunities are another way for companies to show their support of Maui County's entrepreneurs and their products while increasing visibility for their own business.
To receive a Sponsor Packet, click on the "Sponsors" button on the festival website.
The event will kick-off with a Wholesale Buyers and Distributors Event/Reception (by invitation-only) on Friday, Nov. 7, from 2 to 6 p.m.
On Saturday, Nov. 8, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the festival will be open to the public with approximately 100 vendors offering a myriad of products, plus food, demonstrations, restaurant vendors, food trucks and more. Admission is $3 (free for children 12 and under).
Patterned after the successful "Made In Hawaii" festival, this new Maui County event offers greater opportunities for local businesses to participate.
"Not all businesses can afford to go to Oahu for the 'Made In Hawaii' festival," said Teena Rasmussen, director of the Mayor's Office of Economic Development.
"Costs for transportation, accommodations and staffing can quickly add up. That's why this new event was created to make it more affordable and convenient for our local businesses to showcase their products right here at home."
For many years, the Maui Chamber of Commerce has boosted awareness of the county's locally made products through its "Made in Maui" brand and the Made in Maui Trade Council.
"Both residents and visitors are always looking for things made by local people, local hands, local hearts, to keep dollars in our community and to grow these outstanding businesses," said Maui Chamber of Commerce President Pamela Tumpap.
"This Made In Maui County Festival will be a celebration of the many wonderful products created here on Maui, Molokai and Lanai."