Craft fairs mark shift into holiday gear

PO’IPU — “We did so well at the KVMH fair, I don’t have too much,” Debbie Yanagihara said from her booth at the Sheraton Kauai Resort craft fair Saturday.

The Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital Auxiliary’s event was last weekend, along with the Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School craft fair.

Needless to say, the craft-fair season is upon us, and that means the holidays aren’t too far behind.

Yanagihara, who coordinates the Sheraton event, noted that their fair is always on Veterans Day weekend, and “gets better every year.”

On Saturday, 30 vendors filled the mauka lobby of the resort, this number being 10 percent higher than last year, said Yanagihara, who is a vendor as well as coordinator.

Her supply of quilts was low due to the brisk traffic she enjoyed at Waimea’s KVMH at the West Kauai Medical Center event, which being the first weekend of November signaled the ceremonial start of the holiday circuit of craft fairs.

Her daughter, Renee Yanagihara, a fourth-grader at Kalaheo School, was enjoying some of the brisk traffic through the lobby of the Po’ipu resort.

Debbie Yanagihara said that, within the first hour, over 20 of Renee Yanagihara’s colorful bracelets had sold. In anticipation of the heavy traffic, Renee Yanagihara had made over 200 bracelets for this year, after selling out of her production last year, her first year as a crafter.

Debbie Yanagihara’s next craft-fair appearance will be on Friday, Dec. 2, at the Kaua’i Museum Christmas craft fair, where she said she’ll probably ask her husband to join her, so he can take Renee Yanagihara to enjoy the annual Lights on Rice parade.

First-time vendor Adele Silva was getting help from Fredna Moe, who was not shy at all about touting her offerings of holiday decorations fashioned from

native flora, as well as custom ‘ukulele.

Barbara Kaya’s grandchildren, Courtney, Thaine, and David Ochoco, helped to show off the Japanese good-luck icons of the frog, turtle, and maneki neko, each one available in several sizes and sitting atop a custom zabuton.

Kaya’s final appearance for this year’s circuit will be on Saturday, Nov. 26, the Saturday following Thanksgiving, when she joins the crowd at the Wilcox Elementary School cafeteria for the Kauai Handworks event.

Other craft-fair offerings taking place on Kaua’i last weekend included the St. Michael & All Angels’ Episcopal Church event in Lihu’e, where proceeds benefited the church’s food pantry program, and out in Princeville, the Church of the Pacific leaders hosted their monthly offering.

Yanagihara said this is the seventh year that Sheraton Kauai Resort officials have hosted the event, primarily to show off the hidden talents of its employees, who formed the core of the first craft fair.

Additionally, she attributes their brisk traffic to having quality items that are made on the island by the crafters who man the tables.

On the agenda for next weekend is the annual Holy Cross Holiday Bazaar, with the doors opening from 7:30 a.m. 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, at the church’s social hall.

Another offering takes place in Po’ipu, also Saturday, Nov. 19, at Manokalanipo Park near Po’ipu Beach Park, for those who need a choice before heading into Lihu’e.

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