Thousands of tourists had a good time and helped local businesses at the same time Friday night and that's just the start of a full weekend of festivities.
An estimated 100,000 people will roll through this weekends Pan-Pacific Festival events. Around 50,000 of them are visitors to the islands, meaning lots of added income for local businesses.
"They bring in the money and it goes back into the local community to the local people so this is not for only the tourists, it's for us too," says Kimo Campos, who works at Ka'aha'aina Cafe in Waianae.
Ka'aha'aina café is just one of the many vendors at the festival. They say events like the Pan Pacific Ho'olaulea plays a key role in their business.
"It benefits us all the way around and then from this we probably pick up some catering or people need food for other events, that benefits us too," says Mark Ka'aha'aina, owner of Ka'aha'aina Cafe.
The same can be said for many of the other vendors. It's $800 to operate for a night, but vendors say that's well worth it since they can make much more.
"Tourists come here and they're here because they have money. Tourists are not afraid to spend money and if they are going to spend money, they'll spend money on food first," says John Soller, of the Hula Shrimp Company.
"We have like 50-60 people in line, it's a non stop line, I've already made 400 plates of shrimp tonight," says Jorge Leon, owner of Island Sandwich Creations in Iwilei.
But the event means more than just money for businesses. After visitors empty their wallets and get that taste of Hawaii. Vendors say the seed has been planted.
"I'm going to tell them (family and friends in California) about this. I'm going to try to get back here because it's really fun," says Hailey Carter, a visitor from California.
Mark Ka'aha'aina likes what he hears.
"When I hear people eating my food and going around going back and telling their friends how wonderful their experience was in Hawaii, that makes me feel good," says Ka'aha'aina.
The Pan-Pacific Ho'olaulea was just the kickoff to this weekends events. On Saturday, the King Kamehameha Floral parade will start at 9 a.m, and then on Sunday the Pan Pacific Parade will take place in Waikiki.
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