With a trip to the Makuu Farmers Market, you can shop your heart out for artisan goods, fresh produce, and everything in between. Hot homecooked meals stay sizzling all morning long, too, making it easy to stay energized for all your island explorations. You can only find this market running on Sundays though. So, you’ll need to plan your trip to Pahoa accordingly to get in on the good times.
You’ll find the market set up in the O Makuu ke Kahua Community Center parking lot from around 7 am to 12 pm. Vendors usually start arriving at 6 am to set up their tents, arrange their goods, and get ready for the day. By 7 am, it’s not uncommon to see a few stragglers moseying in to join the festivities. But, you’re welcome to start shopping around at that point anyway. If you want to see every last item in full display, you should plan your visit for after 8 am instead.
Although the vendors change from week to week, you can usually find over 150 merchants selling their wares at any given time. They range from local farmers to artisans plus many restaurant owners, too. On top of that, local musicians come through on occasion for the chance to play their latest jams for the crowds. With so much going on all the time, it’s no wonder that as many as 1,500 visitors meander onsite during the market’s open hours.
To help keep the market running all throughout the year, the organizers charge admission fees to all attendees. They usually charge by car, which not only gets you through the doors but also allows you to use their convenient parking lot. Once you’re through the gates, you can wander through the market at your leisure. Even if you’re not planning on buying anything, it’s a lot of fun to simply look at all the craftsmanship in your midst.
Take the time to chat with the vendors as well, so you can learn just what it takes to create each item you see. More often than not, the conversations lead to purchases, however, so chat away at your own risk. The handcrafted items make excellent souvenirs for yourself and your loved ones back home. So, you cannot go wrong in buying a few unintended items while leisurely strolling through the market.
Popular items for sale include:
Want to add pure elegance to your tableware? Look for gorgeous Etched Glassware in stemless, champagne, and wine glass styles. These glasses have all the most iconic island imagery etched on the surface, including sea turtles, palm trees, and whales.
Both eco-friendly and stylish, Sustainable Clothing is all the rage on the Big Island. So, check around for vendors in the know, like 11th Loop, as you walk along all the stalls. They’re usually easy to spot, too. The sustainable threads tend to have loud patterns and bright colors drawing you into the booth.
Upcycled Candlemakers take the saying “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” to the next level. These vendors make candles using locally sourced bottles of all kinds. Each one allows you to take a piece of paradise home with you in a whole new way.
As you shop around, you’re sure to work up a big appetite. Thankfully, you can satisfy all your cravings by simply stopping at nearby booths selling homemade meals. Although the restaurants onsite vary each week, Loco Moco, Kalua Pork, and many other Hawaiian classics are usually on tap. Beyond that, you’ll just have to let your nose lead the way to all the flavors you want to savor.
-More often than not, the vendors only take cash payments. So, be sure to stop by the ATM before arriving onsite.
-If you want to leave and come back, you’ll need to pay the entry fee once again.