Hanapepe Art Night is a Friday night tradition not to be missed on the West Side of Kauai. Each Friday evening the sleepy little town of Hanapepe comes alive as local artists and artisans display their crafts all along Main Street. Happening from 6-9 PM, Hanapepe Art Night is fun for the whole family, with a festive atmosphere and plenty of outdoor live music and eateries.
It is truly amazing how much talent exists on the island of Kauai. At Hanapepe Art Night you will discover all sorts of local crafts; from painters to photographers, jewelers to carvers, street performers and artisan foods. We generally begin our journey by parking on the Waimea (West) end of town and meandering all the way to the other side and back.
Talk Story Book Store, located on the mauka (mountain) side of the street is often our first stop. Talk Story is a pillar of support to the local community; local authors are often signing books in the store and the owners, Ed and Cynthia Justus, have welcomed myriad musicians and entrepreneurs to set up stalls outside their store front. They have an incredible selection of new and used books to choose from and will go out of their way to help you find hard to source and out of print titles. I once witnessed Ed get in his car and drive to Kalaheo and back on the spur of the moment to have a book signed by the author for a customer.
Just outside Talk Story, you will find the Right Slice set up under a canopy selling sumptious home baked pies. Continuing down the street, we cross over to the makai (ocean) side of the road see the happenings at Story Book Theater. Story Book Theater incorporated as a not for profit in 1986. They have created over 40 original touring theater productions representing stories from every major culture in the state of Hawaii. School children all over Hawaii are blessed by these fun and creative shows. Storybook Theater’s mission is to enable Hawaii’s school children to experience and participate in the performing and media arts, while perpetuating the cultural values and heritage of the peoples of Hawaii and the Pacific. In addition to hosting events and school outreach, there is a peace garden in the back which is available to rent for weddings, photo shoots, schools and not for profit groups. When you leave Story Book Theater, keep an eye out for authentic Hawaiian music outside of Bobby’s restaurant. We have never eaten at Bobby’s but it seems to be a very popular local spot.
A little further on we come to one of our favorite stands, Midnight Bear Breads, Midnight Bear is one of the only places to get truly home made fresh baked bread on the island of Kauai. Even better, they use organic ingredients, offer gluten free breads and are run by a super nice young couple. They also have a line of spreads, nut butters and sauces and their products are available at several health food stores on Kauai. If you stop by their stall at Hanapepe Art Night make sure to enjoy a slice of their delicious home made pizza. As you continue on your journey, you will see a great variety of art on display. Many of the galleries offer complimentary snacks and you can see work by renowned local artists such as Isa Maria and Troy Carney on display as well as many others. Make sure to take a couple of minutes to walk over the Hanapepe Bridge which will requiring crossing back over the mauka (mountain) side of the street. It is a suspension footbridge that spans the Hanapepe river and offers great views up and down the valley.
At the far end of town, we often stop for a bite to eat at the Thai Food truck – they make delicious pad thai, curry and green papaya salad. They often sell out early. After enjoying our meal, we return to wander the streets some more before stopping in again at Talk Story to pick up some reading material and be tempted by another slice of pie.