Lei Season

Demand for flower garlands hits seasonal high in Hawaii

Students graduating in Hawaii and some parts of the West Coast are looking forward to getting something other than their diplomas. Many also will be getting leis those strings of flowers made popular in Hawaii.

This is the busiest season for lei makers, as many students will have leis piled up to their eyes after graduating. State officials say about 96 million flowers grown in Hawaii in 2003 were strung into leis. And shop owners say while tourist companies create a steady demand for their items, graduation season by far is their busiest time.

One lei maker says the items are growing in popularity and there's now "a huge demand from people on the mainland."