Hilo’s Finest: Artisans and Entrepreneurs Prepare for Merrie Monarch Craft Fair


Over 150 local shops and artists are in the home stretch before the biggest event of the year, which brings in the most money. The yearly Merrie Monarch Hawaiian Arts and Craft Fair is coming up soon, and people are busy packing boxes and counting their goods.

Local stores like Noho Home start getting ready a long time in advance.

“We’ve been getting ready all year, and we think about it and how we’re going to show up long before March or April comes around,” said Jalene Kanani, artist and founder of Noho Home.

Just Sisters Boutique manager Brenda Kenui said, “We’ve been working from as early as 6:30 in the morning until last night at 9:45, and we’re just getting ready.”

Simply Sisters Boutique, a clothes brand based in Hilo, sees it as a chance to show off its goods and meet new customers from near and far. The Merrie Monarch craft show is the most important event for vendors all year.

“This is very important to our business. “This is the most important time of the year; it’s like Christmas and the Super Bowl all rolled into one,” Kenui said.

Kanani said, “I would say that you don’t get to see about 50 to 60 percent of the small businesses there anywhere else.”

At the same time, Hawaii County is getting ready to welcome people from all over the world.

Cyrus Johnson, public information officer for Hawaii County, said, “We’ve had some long-awaited road projects that we try to push through so that when the parade comes around, there aren’t any potholes and people aren’t falling off their horses. We also try to make the areas around the stadium extra loved.”

He will be in Hilo to cover the whole Merrie Monarch Festival. To learn more about the Merrie Monarch Hawaiian Arts and Crafts Fair, go to the website for the fair.

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