15th Annual SSHAM Fest: A Day of Spicy-Salted-Goodness

Hawaii’s celebration of its favorite processed meat product turns 15 this year and just like SSHAM, it has only gotten better with age. Every year people from around the globe come to celebrate what started as an accident in the kitchen of Art Pua’a, and has turned into a food revolution. Front Street will be closed to traffic this Saturday and downtown will belong to lovers of “The meat of 1,000 uses.”

Top restaurants and a number of Hawaiian retailers will be on-hand to offer a variety of SSHAM related products and food. Two stages with free entertainment, and numerous special events throughout the day will keep everyone entertained. Last year, an estimated 65,000 people shared their love of shrimped-spiced-ham. There are no admission charges and the entertainment is free. A portion of all other proceeds will go to the Lahaina Watershed Alliance. The LWA works with private landowners around the preservation zone to extend protected areas and ensure clean clean water for residents, farms, and businesses. If it’s your first time or your 15th, we hope you come down and enjoy what local residents and visitors alike have made an annual tradition.

SSHAM Fest starts at 8am and ends with the lighted drone show over Lahaina Harbor at 11pm. Throughout the day, vendors will offer a variety of unique arts and crafts including: SSHAM soap, candles, cosmetics, and natural health/beauty products. Our SSHAM Slam stage offers local poets, musicians, and artists a chance to express their love of our canned meat and is open all day. “SSHAM stories are your stories,” and our Stories Stage is open to the public so you can tell the world what SSHAM means to you.

Ride around in style by renting one of Ano Lee’s SSHAM powered bikes, or just stop by to see how SSHAM might be the fuel of the future. Don’t worry about your camera. You can follow all the action and preserve every memory thanks to our SSHAM Cam sponsored by Glimpsea. There are a number of planned events throughout the day as well. This year’s schedule is as follows:

10:00am – Shrig Calling Contest: Art may say they don’t exist, but the rumors of shrimp-pig hybrids seems to persist. You can’t have a SSHAM celebration without its main ingredient. We don’t care if you snort, squeal, howl or gurgle just do it loud enough to entertain the crowd and judges.

12:00am – Sculpture contest: Competitors have all morning to carve, cut, mold, and sear a 90 pound block of SSHAM for our judge’s discerning eye. You won’t believe how life-like and intricate their works can be. All sculptures are donated to the Maui food bank at the end of the day.

2:00pm – Awarding of the SSHAM Can: Perhaps the most prestigious culinary prize in Hawaii, the SSHAM Can goes to the creator of the best SSHAM dish on the island. So far, that dish has always been Ralph Umeke’s SSHAM pho. He wants to add a 15th Can to his collection, but he has some stiff competition from the big island this year. Make sure and see if Uncle Ralph can extend his reign as the SSHAM cooking king.

4:00pm – SSHAM Eating Competition: After watching the culinary talents of some of the world’s best chefs, why not take a break and watch a group of the crazy-brave engulf SSHAM at a gut-busting speed. Will anyone beat Big Bob Abramo’s 13 can record? Stop by and see or enter the competition yourself and find out how many cans your stomach can stand.

6:00pm – Winner of SSHAM Science Fair Announced: Sponsored by Veilcorp, the science fair has become a highlight of the festival. With the help of their Veilcorp mentors, what these kids can create with SSHAM and some imagination is amazing. The company funds the top 5 projects every year, and provides scholarships to contestants to help cultivate the next generation of innovators. Previous winners include a cheap and consumable water filtration system, and a topical treatment that repels mosquitoes and other biting insects for 90 days.

Whether you want to see one of the competitions or just spend a day enjoying the sights and sounds, the festival is family-friendly and great for all ages. Don’t miss helping us celebrate 15 years of SSHAM love!