When you visit spectacular Maui, with its sweeping vistas and sprawling resorts, it may be hard to imagine the island was once home to multiple sugar plantations. For decades, the sugar industry dominated the island’s economy, attracting immigrants from overseas to work in the plantation’s sugarcane fields.
In honor of the island’s rich plantation history, the Lahaina Restoration Foundation is once again presenting its annual Lahaina Plantation Days celebration—a day filled with local music, international cuisine, and historical venues. The event takes place Oct. 16th through Oct. 17th from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. both days at the Pioneer Mill Co. Smokestack Exhibit area in Lahaina Maui. You’ll find lots of free and off-street parking nearby. Admission is $5 per person. Children five years old and younger get in free.
Here are five reasons you can’t miss this phenomenal event:
1. This Is the Event’s Swan Song: You may be thinking, “If I don’t make it this year, I’ll just catch next year’s event.” Not so fast! This is the seventh and last year the Lahaina Restoration Foundation will present the Lahaina Plantation Days celebration. So, if you miss the opportuity to participate in this year’s event, you won’t get another chance.
2. The Local Entertainer Line-Up: You won’t want to miss the extraordinary entertainers who will be on-hand both days during the celebration. On Friday, Ikaika Blackburn and Leohone (featuring Pi‘ilani Arias and Kamakoa Lindsey Asing) will take the stage. Then, the Hawaiian musical trio will be followed by the Ekolu Trio, a Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award-winning Jawaiian group. Headlining the stage is the one and only, multiple award-winning entertainer, Willie K. On Saturday, the ntertainment line-up will open with Maui’s exciting youth group, Zenshin Daiko drummers. Versatile vocalist, stage and recording artist, Amy Hānaiali‘i will follow. Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award-winner and kumu hula, Nāpua Greig will perform next with her hālau (hula school). Hawaii’s legendary songstress, Melveen Leed will close the evening.
3. Let’s Not Forget THE FOOD: Skip the fancy dinner reservation and head to Lahaina Plantation Days for fantastic food from more than 22 local food vendors and restuarants. The event’s Restaurant Row includes Aloha Mixed Plate, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Black Rock Kitchen, and Cheeseburger in Paradise, to name just a few.
4. The Event Aims To Be Zero-Waste: Students from the Maui Huliau Foundation are helping the event reduce waste by reminding everyone to reuse their bamboo Sporks this year. The event will feature food and beverages served on biodegradable plates and in reusable cups and glasses. Patrons are reminded to look for ZW stations in which they can place their recyclables, paper, and food waste. Restaurants will drop food scraps in buckets to feed local farm animals.
5. Learn a Little Something About Maui: Learn what it was like on Maui during the island’s early 20th century plantation days. At the event, you’ll find a recreated early 20th century kitchen complete with kerosene stove, pie safe, ice box, kitchen gadgets, and various food items of that period to commemorate this year’s event.
Food demonstrations, art exhibits, a beer and wine garden, a MauiGrown Coffee tent, a keiki (children) game zone, and a farmers’ market will round-out this year’s event.
Consider making a special trip to Lahaina Maui for this amazing event, or look for it when you stop in Lahaina Maui during your Maui Sightseeing Tour when you book your vacation through Hawaii Aloha Travel.
Since this is the event’s last year, it’s sure to be the most spectacular one yet. So, be sure to stop by and celebrate Maui’s rich plantation heritage.