Friday, May 6, 2016

Seabury Hall Craft Fair

Seabury Hall Craft Fair is one of the largest and most delectable craft fairs on Maui. It will take place tomorrow, Saturday, May 7, from 9 am to 4 pm in Olinda.

Held every spring the Saturday before Mother’s Day, the Seabury Hall Craft Fair is an excuse to splurge, ostensibly on a gift for mom, but just as easily for oneself. Admission is $5 and includes parking. Children 12 years old and younger enter for free. The proceeds go towards financial aid for students who are smart enough to be admitted into this competitive and prestigious secondary school but whose families are not rich enough to foot the entire tuition bill. The yearly tuition is as much as some colleges and universities. 

La Patisserie - outside pastry shop
The craft fair is large, sprawling across the campus and filling several buildings. Outside, rows upon rows of booths display their wares, in a beguiling manner to entice shoppers.  Booths on the main path from the entrance pay the highest fees for their prime location.  The discerning shopper will make sure to wander through all the pathways to visit booths that are tucked farther away from the entrance, down side paths and by the food stands.

Towards the middle of the campus, the outdoor patisserie or French pastry cafĂ© showcases a smorgasbord of desserts and baked goods. Some cakes and pies are donated by top notch Maui restaurants, while others are made by parents and students slaving away in hot kitchens. 

So many desserts, and this is a fraction of what is presented.
A specially priced ticket lets the buyer select three desserts from the table.  Sometimes this can take a long time, because the desserts are so tempting. The selection of desserts changes during the day: when one dessert is finished, another magically takes its place.

My favorite part of the festival is the area with bouquets. Flowers in creative arrangements fill bowls, vases, and containers of all sizes and shapes. Another table has different types of leis, flower garlands, that are not just colorful and pretty, but some are refined and sophisticated. Fresh produce and garden plants are also for sale.


One building contains silent auction items, donated by many businesses and individuals across Maui. Here is where one may luck out and snag tickets to a luau or private boat trip, accommodations for a weekend getaway, or a coveted restaurant gift certificate for less than the face value.  The gymnasium hosts a rummage sale and is filled with donated items – clothes, household goods, furniture, books - secret treasures which may be disguised as another person’s junk.  Another building has handmade student creations, which are no less interesting than the rest of the fair outside.

For children, there is a water slide in the back of the campus, a bouncy castle or two, face painting, pony riding, and games. Food booths offer a variety of choices so there is no need to leave the fair. All day long, entertainers provide live music. Usually the weather is cooperative and sunny, with occasional mischievous gusts of wind. It’s not uncommon to see crafters grab the table cloth or the tent wall to keep their display from flying.  

For Maui residents and visitors who live on the other side of the island, the craft fair is an excuse to venture Upcountry. Upcountry Maui puts on its most beautiful finery this time of year: the hills are dotted with flowering purple jacaranda trees. Seabury Hall’s campus has several purple trees, which lend a festive air to the occasion.

A flowering purple jacaranda tree on the campus.

Time: 9 am – 4 pm
Date: Saturday, May 7, 2016
Location: Seabury Hall, Olinda, part of Makawao

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