Hawaii is a land of festivals, with at least one event happening across the state practically every week. On May 3, 2014, one of Hawaii’s most unique festivals takes place on Oahu when the 12th Annual Waikiki SPAM JAM® closes down Kalakaua Avenue from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. for a fun, delectable and entertaining street festival…all in celebration of the famous luncheon meat SPAM®.
According to Barbara Campbell, vice president of Outrigger Enterprises Group, one of the event’s founding sponsors, “Waikiki SPAM JAM® is one of the most popular and fun-filled festivals in Hawaii because of its great food and entertainment in a family-friendly atmosphere. Each year more than 24,000 people turn out for the Waikiki SPAM JAM® Festival.”
Kalakaua Avenue, the main thoroughfare through Waikiki, is closed to car traffic for the evening so pedestrians have easy access to the many food booths that are set up along the festival’s path. Each booth serves a selection of dishes with SPAM® luncheon meat as the featured ingredient in at least one of their selections! The evening also includes some of Hawaii’s best island groups and musicians performing from two entertainment stages. Festival-goers also have the opportunity to purchase Hawaiian arts and crafts from vendor booths, as well as SPAM® merchandise – from t-shirts, to shorts, to sport balls and slippers – from two merchandise booths.
The Waikiki SPAM JAM® Festival is held under the auspices of the "SJ Foundation," a 501(c)(3) entity whose purpose is to assist the event’s beneficiary, which is the Hawaii Foodbank. During this year’s festival, volunteers will be on hand at two booths to collect donations of SPAM® products for the Hawaii Foodbank, the only agency in the state of Hawaii that collects, warehouses, and distributes mass quantities of both perishable and non-perishable food to 250 member agencies as well as food banks on Oahu, Hawaii’s Big Island, Maui, and Kauai.
According to Campbell, the Hawaii Foodbank forms a vital link between the food donors and its member agencies by providing services in collecting, sorting, salvaging, and distributing food. The Hawaii Foodbank also supports its member agencies through financial and educational assistance.
“While the Waikiki SPAM JAM® Festival provides a fun, family-friendly activity for our entire community, more importantly it benefits those most in need in our community – the elderly, families with children, and the less fortunate who, without the support of the Hawaii Foodbank, would go to bed hungry every night.”
Free Accommodation Upgrades:
As part of the Waikiki SPAM JAM® Festival, Outrigger and OHANA Hotels in Waikiki are offering guests checking in for the weekend a free one category upgrade, based on availability, with the donation of a can of SPAM® product, which will be donated to the Hawaii Foodbank. To make reservations, visit www.outrigger.com, or call 1-800-688-7444, and ask for the best available rate. The offer is subject to change and availability. Some restrictions may apply.
Some SPAM® Family of Products Trivia:
· There now are many varieties of SPAM® luncheon meat: Classic, Turkey, Cheese, Bacon, Hickory Smoke, Garlic, Less Sodium, Lite, Hot & Spicy, Golden Honey Grail, and Spread.
· SPAM® Classic is made of just a few simple ingredients. Ham, pork, sugar, salt, water, a little potato starch, and a mere hint of sodium nitrite to help the SPAM® luncheon meat keep its color. Sounds delicious and it is.
· Bazillions of people around the world eat SPAM® Family of Products. Since 1937, almost 7 billion cans of SPAM® products have been sold. In the United States alone, over 90 million cans are sold per year. It is a taste sensation across the nation.
· SPAM® Classic was invented in 1937. SPAM® luncheon meat was enormously popular even before it got sent off to war in 1941. It is the creation of Jay Hormel, who found a perfect way to package delicious pork shoulder meat so all that amazing flavor didn’t go to waste. Billions and billions of cans later, the love of SPAM® products is stronger than ever.
Sponsors of the 12th annual Waikiki SPAM JAM® Festival include the following: Outrigger Hotels and Resorts, Waikiki Beach Walk, Hawaii Tourism Authority and Queen Emma Land Co.
See what Waikiki SPAM JAM® Festival is all about at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KenNybPL860.