Honolulu Gift Fair Opens as Shopping Alternative - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Honolulu Gift Fair Opens as Shopping Alternative

By Marvin Buenconsejo

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- The doors are now open at the Neal Blaisdell Exhibition Hall for the 4th annual "Honolulu Gift Fair."

With just 11 shopping days left until Christmas, this could be your key to finding that special item for the person who has everything.

Months of prep work comes down to these finishing touches.

A total of 265 booths will fill the exhibition hall.

''The majority of them are mom and pops coming out of their garage, made in Hawaii," says event organizer, Flip Kuchler. "We've got folks from Kauai, Big Island, Maui. Someone's coming over on the ferry morning with all their crafts."

Vendors will offer products you won't see at the neighborhood mega mall.

Among the items, images of our island paradise that get folks to stop in their tracks.

''A lot of them are just in awe of the nature scenes that we do as our photography and our paintings," says Stephen Springle, of Pictures of Hawaii. "Where is that at? And, I've never seen anything like that before. So, people are just amazed at some of the things we capture with our art."

Most of the items for sale will hold reasonable price tags, perfect for "Secret Santas" or stocking stuffers.

And then, there's the novelty item that'll give potential customers "sticker shock."

''The most expensive object is the Hawaiian commemorative which was a fund raising event back in 1928," explains Captain Cook's Coin Company owner, Craig Watanabe. "And, the archives needed money to buy artifacts for their building. Bank of Hawaii was the original distributor. They don't have any left. But, today there worth between a thousand and five-thousand dollars each. But, they sold for 2 dollars and 50 cents, back in 1928."

Craig Watanabe's coin is going for $2,300.

So, famed American poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, was right: money often costs too much.

The "Honolulu Gift Fair" is now underway.

It runs through sunday.

Admission is free.

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