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Mayor's craft fair rescheduled just days after its cancellation

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 1:42 a.m. HST, Nov 19, 2010

A craft fair that was canceled after a state Tax Department crackdown on "cash economy" businesses has been rescheduled for Dec. 4 at the Blaisdell Center Exhibition Hall's Hawaii Suites, Mayor Peter Carlisle announced yesterday.

The 36th annual Mayor's Craft and Country Fair will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free.

"I'm very pleased that the seniors who make this event so special will have the opportunity to share their wonderful crafts with everyone," Carlisle said.

The fair originally was scheduled for tomorrow but city Department of Parks and Recreation officials canceled it on Monday after a raucous scene at the Kailua Open Market on Oct. 28, when shoppers yelled at two Special Enforcement Unit agents from the state Tax Department, and Honolulu police were called.

The tax agents cited two vendors and fined a shopper $2,000 for allegedly alerting other vendors.

On Wednesday, state Tax Director Stanley Shiraki said his agents had no plans to look for violations at the fair.

After Carlisle's announcement yesterday, Shiraki said he is considering attending "as a buyer only -- only as a buyer."

Carlisle took responsibility for the abrupt cancellation and vowed to get it back on track.

"This was a mistake made by the City and County of Honolulu," Carlisle said Wednesday. "We're responsible for it, and now it's our obligation to do everything we can to try to set this right."

For information participating seniors may call city recreation specialist Randy Yasuhara at 768-3045.

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