Kaimuki offering early holiday fair
By Mary Vorsino
Advertiser Urban Honolulu Writer
By Mary Vorsino
Kaimuki businesses hope to kick off the holiday shopping blitz tomorrow, with an event to feature the unique fare, one-of-a-kind gifts and the old-times feel of their community.
More than 90 food and craft vendors will fill Kaimuki Community Park for "Celebrate Kaimuki Kanikapila," which will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Restaurants and stores in the area will also offer special deals throughout the one-day event.
A portion of the proceeds from the fair will go to the Kaimuki Christmas Parade and for high school student scholarships. John Kobayashi, president of the Kaimuki Business and Professional Association, said he hopes to make the fair an annual event.
"We're doing this to celebrate Kaimuki," he said.
The last time Kaimuki businesses put on a fair was in 2002, after the completion of a facelift in the community, which included revamped streetlights and sidewalks. The changes attracted new tenants to the business district and strengthened its popularity.
Today, Kaimuki is known as a place for great dining and interesting shops. But in recent years, business owners say the community has been held back by a lack of parking in the area.
A new attendant parking system at two municipal lots in Kaimuki has eased the situation, and businesses say the event tomorrow is partly aimed at getting people who had stayed out of the community because of a lack of parking at peak hours to return — just in time for the kick-off of holiday shopping.
Bead It! on Kokohead Avenue is one of dozens of area businesses with booths at the fair. Justine Jones, assistant manager, said the event is meant to show off all that Kaimuki has to offer.
"It shows a lot of community support," she said. "As far as holiday shopping, it's a little bit early, but a good head-start."
Reach Mary Vorsino at firstname.lastname@example.org.