The Grove in West Hollywood was the place to be on Saturday, June 4th, 2011. The Hawaiian Visitors and Conventions Bureau and the Anthology Group hosted the event which was opened to the public in Los Angeles. Different vendors from the islands of Oahu and Maui brought a piece of “aloha” to share with local Angelinos.
Children stood in line to make plumeria leis while the adults cooled off by drinking Hawaiian Springs, the young artesian water from the Big Island. The atmosphere was fun and the crowds enjoyed the experience. There’s always music and dance at every Hawaiian event and the Hawaiians know how to teach visitors about who they are and what they are about. Chris Kai’aokamaile of the Maui Visitors Bureau explains, ”If people understand and experience our culture which captures the true spirit of Aloha, they will want to come to Hawaii.” As I walked and observed the booths, adults and children of all ages lined up to experience a piece of Hawaii. The award-winning Hawaii Kai Salt from the island of Moloka’i was present and gave out small sample packages. Moloka’i Visitors Bureau Director Julie-Ann Bicoy shared,”The salt is harvested from the waters of Moloka’i and is a product of our natural resources.”
While some people crowded the booths, others enjoyed music and entertainment from Daniel Ho, who surprised us all with his special guest performance with Tia Carerre. Tia performed “Aloha ‘Oe” while Daniel accompanied her. Their performance really set the tone of the event.
When I approached my last booth, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Jennifer Carvalho of Hawaiian Hotel and Resorts. When asked what is the one thing she would like consumers to know about her resorts, she said, ”We are a family-owned company and our hotels are authentic to Hawaiian themes of lifestyle and culture. We have properties in Maui and the Big Island of Hawaii and all of which have beautiful ocean and beach-front views.”
Overall, the event was fun-filled, family-oriented, and highly informative of the great products, venues, and experiences the Hawaiian Islands have to offer. LA locals are sure to have gained a greater interest in visiting Hawaii and may have even already booked their airfare. We can always count on Hawaii to make a strong and culturally authentic presence and everyone at The Grove experienced that spirit of aloha firsthand. Hawaii is definitely a must-visit destination so be sure to put it on your summer vacation list!
For more information on the islands of Hawai’i, visit www.gohawaii.com.
Written By: Elizabeth Lavulo