Christmas is still a few weeks away, but Ward Village is definitely getting into the holiday spirit.
Once known as Art+Flea, an Oʻahu pop-up market showcasing art, retail, food trucks and live entertainment, New Wave Friday is now presented by Ward Village and hosted in the new South Shore Market. South Shore is an ideal location for this urban night market, complete with festive lighting, rustic holiday décor and lush living walls inside and outside the complex. We spent last Aloha Friday at Ward Village’s transformed New Wave Holiday to ring in the holiday season.
After checking in by Lucy’s Lab Creamery and receiving a ticket for a free scoop at either Lucy’s or the new Via Gelato, we leisurely explored the many vendors around South Shore. I’ve spent lots of time writing inside the artsy urban walls of the marketplace but never had a chance to wander through its shops. I hadn’t realized how many charming vendors were situated throughout the marketplace! In just one boutique I spotted cute shirts, bags, jewelry, home furnishings and stationary that I’d love to buy for friends, family and even myself!
Before sacrificing the entirety of my Christmas shopping budget, we moved to the great outdoors, where we found additional retail vendors as well as food stands and three outdoor bars. While indulging in an Aloha Friday cocktail, we relaxed to the creative violin sounds of Bryson Andres and a festive performance by the young indie band The Fresh Preps. I loved listening to these talented local artists performing under the colorful lights of the shimmering South Shore Market—what a relaxing twist on pau hana!
We knew Aiden James was coming up, so we abandoned our place at the hightop in search of food. Lucky for us, New Wave Holiday hooked us up with multiple food stands serving up a variety of Japanese, American and Mexican cuisine. After much debate with my friend over which line to tackle, we ended up waiting in line for Alejandros Mexican Food. I’d never been there before, but I was craving tacos. To my surprise, this eatery offered mouthwatering street tacos that were both filling and inexpensive. I sampled the carne asada and carnitas street tacos—mounds of juicy meat spooned on top of a five-inch corn tortilla and topped with onions, cilantro, guacamole and salsa verde. These were honestly some of the tastiest tacos I’ve ever enjoyed! Meanwhile, my friend devoured his loaded carne asada nachos topped with some pretty spicy jalapeños.
Next up—Aiden James. I’ve been a fan of Aiden James since learning of his involvement with the Best Buddies Hawaii program. This 16-year-old performer boasts talent well beyond his years, showcasing smooth vocals and versatile ʻukulele skills. I had a blast listening to his take on classic Christmas tunes and modern pop songs while the sky darkened and the brilliant Christmas lights lit up the outdoor stage. We finished our Mexican food, soaked up the last of Aiden James’ stellar set list, then headed over to the outdoor vendors.
While we didn’t end up buying anything, it was great to see so many local vendors gathered together for the community to enjoy some holiday shopping. Though I’m not the biggest shopper, I’m all about supporting local businesses and their artistic ventures, and this seems to be what South Shore Market is all about, too.
Want to celebrate the holidays with Ward Village? They’re also hosting holiday-themed versions of monthly Courtyard Cinema and Kona Nui Nights. Check out these festive events below:
Watch ELF, starring Will Ferrell, with the whole family TONIGHT at 6:00 p.m. at the IBM Building
Enjoy a Hawaiian culture celebration featuring Kupaoa and Mark Yamanaka on Wednesday, December 20 at 6:00 p.m. at the IBM Building