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Every year, Maui pays tribute to its rich plantation heritage with a two-day event dedicated to the cause. Lahaina Plantation Days celebrates this important piece of island history with food, music, horse rides and multicultural exhibits but most importantly, brings together a community.
The event itself will be surrounded with history, as it takes place at the old Pioneer Mill site on Lahainaluna Road. Yet another town landmark worth checking out. The company had planted and milled sugar cane in the Lahaina area since the 1860s. However, was unable to compete with low sugar prices from foreign markets and eventually shut down.
While the festivities focus on the plantation era, there is also a myriad of food booths from Maui’s favorite restaurants, including Aloha Mixed Plate, Leoda’s Kitchen & Pie Shop and Plantation House Restaurant. Pioneer Mill will have a tent set up, as well as a farmers market, so festival-goers can shop and eat.
Many families like to plan their visit around the live entertainment. This year’s event will be hosted by comedic pair, Da Braddahs, and serenaded by award-winning musicians Ekolu, Hoku Zuttermeister and Na Leo Pilimehana.
Whether it is music, food or history you are looking to whet your appetite with, be sure to check out this annual festival when you’re on Maui. For me, the plantation era is when my grandparents met! They lived on separate camps, became friends and the rest is history.
• Oct. 18-19, 2013 at former Pioneer Mill Co. smokestack on Lahainaluna Road • 5 to 1030pm • $3 admission, children 5 and under free • http://www.lahainarestoration.org/plantationdays.html