STAR-BULLETIN / JUNE 2006
People browse the various booths at the Taste of Honolulu in the Honolulu Civic Center. CLICK FOR LARGE
Taste of Honolulu keeps home, changes name
What was known as Taste of Honolulu will continue this year at the same location, but under a new name and run by a new organization.
The new name is "The Flavors of Honolulu" and the new organization is Abilities Unlimited.
The dates for this year's event are June 29 through July 1. As with the previous event, the city will co-sponsor Flavors, which will be held at the city's Civic Center grounds in downtown Honolulu.
John Henry Felix, chairman of Abilities Unlimited's board, said the Flavors of Honolulu will be a festival for families, expanding on what was popular with the previous event.
"We're going to feature not only fine foods by hosting 25 restaurants, premier restaurants of Honolulu, but also garments, woodcraft, everything that represents Hawaii," Felix said. Flavors will also include travel agents, he said.
Felix said his organization approached the city after Easter Seals Hawaii announced in December that it will no longer produce Taste of Honolulu after a 15-year run. Easter Seals owns the name Taste of Honolulu so Abilities Unlimited needed a different name for its event.
Abilities Unlimited expects to gross $750,000 from this year's event and net $500,000, Felix said.
Easter Seals Hawaii said it netted a record $280,000 from Taste of Honolulu last year. Although it was successful, Easter Seals officials have said coordinating the three-day festival required too much time away from the organization's core mission of providing services for children and adults with disabilities.
Felix said all of the money earned from the Flavors of Honolulu will stay in Hawaii and will be used to fund Abilities Unlimited's efforts to help its clients gain employment.
Abilities Unlimited is a nonprofit organization founded in 1983 that assists individuals with disabilities. It serves about 400 individuals with employment and community support services and provides related services for more than 4,000 individuals.