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Downtown Lihu‘e Night Market opens

Steven Nishimura was surprised Saturday when he left his Kress Street office.

“That’s a lot of people,” Nishimura said, pausing to take in the scope of the inaugural Downtown Lihu‘e Night Market. “There hasn’t been this much people on Kress Street for a long time.”

Hosted by the Rice Street Business Association and Alakoko, the first Downtown Lihu‘e Night Market filled Kress Street with more than 30 vendors offering a wide range of commodities including popular trucker caps and tops to more-exotic, specialty items like vegan health foods, body-care items and crystals.

Vendor overflow saw a variety of pop ups fill Barre Soul, located on Rice Street across from Kress Street.

“We can make this work,” said Adams Bulosan, who was assigned to head-counting duty with wife Charlmaine Bulosan at the entrance to Kress Street at Rice Street. “We can have up to 100 people at a time, and I keep track of everyone entering and exiting Rice Street.”

Charlmaine ulosan said there was another team located at the Halenani and Kress streets intersection keeping tabs of shoppers and communicating with the Rice Street team.

Businesses having doors located on Kress Street like Primerica and Hamura Saimin took advantage of the traffic stream to come out onto the street to get better acquainted with the community of kama‘aina and malihini who scrambled for cover during a brief rain shower.

“It’s a good thing for big awnings,” Nishimura said while watching the Mo‘olelo Murals booth engage shoppers with an interactive balloon toss that formed the base of a new canvas being planned by the trio of artists.

The ‘ohana from Hamura Saimin dug into their experiences from previous Rice Street block parties to set up a tent offering grab-and-go popular food like malasada hot out of the cooker. Other popular food vendors included the Kaua‘i Family Cafe team, Elena Camat’s pretzels, Uncle Mikey’s packaged goods, and a made-to-eat snack activity, S’mores, inspired by Girl Scout Cookies, hosted by the Girl Scouts.

“If you ask the leaders of the clubs for an activity, they going tell you ‘no can because of COVID,’” Adams Bulosan said. “But, look — we can!”

Scheduled for the second Saturday of each month from 4 to 8 p.m. and centering around Kress Street, the next Downtown Lihu‘e Night Market is set for Sept. 11, and will feature a special performance by Salsa.

w Info: downtownlihue.com

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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