34th annual World Whale Day
Last year, more than 25,000 people poured into Kihei for the World Whale Day Celebration. On Saturday, even more tons of fun will make a splash at 9 a.m. and continue to run nonstop until 7 p.m. This family friendly affair is free and open to the public. Here are the highlights:
‘DON’T STOP’ THE PARADE!
March to the beat of a different drummer this Saturday with legendary rock icon Mick Fleetwood leading the charge as grand marshall in a horse-drawn carriage in the 2014 Parade of Whales, which kicks off festivities at 9 a.m. along South Kihei Road.
This colorful community spectacle will begin at Alanui Kealii Drive, then proceed north along South Kihei Road and end at Kihei Public Library on Waimahaihai Street. A longtime Maui resident, Fleetwood is a co-founder and drummer of Fleetwood Mac. Its megahits include “Go Your Own Way,” “Dreams” and “Don’t Stop,” which former prez Bill Clinton used as his campaign theme song, proclaiming the group his favorite band ever.
KALAMA PARK SETS THE STAGE
Immediately after the Parade of Whales, World Whale Day offers a full slate of free live entertainment by some of Hawaii’s top recording stars, plus hula, island food by local restaurants, a children’s carnival, educational whale and Maui environmental displays as well as a huge Made on Maui artisans’ fair.
Fleetwood will pound out beats as guest drummer with the R.E. Metoyer Blues, Rock and Soul Revue, which plays at his Fleetwood’s on Front St. restaurant in Lahaina on a regular basis. In addition, other performers at World Whale Day include Na Hoku award-winner John Cruz, four-time Grammy Award winner George Kahumoku Jr., Anuhea, Ekolu, Marty Dread, Na Hoa, Dr. Nat and Rio Ritmo and Tahitian hula group Manute’a Nui E.
BRING YOUR APPETITES
“Arrive hungry and enjoy a breakfast, lunch or dinner meal from our many food vendors,” says Alison Stewart, events manager at Pacific Whale Foundation, host of the event. “By purchasing food at World Whale Day, you help to keep this day free for the community.”
This year, you may peruse 15 food booths, including, of course, Fleetwood’s on Front St. Between sets, Fleetwood will be on hand to sign autographs at his booth, where you may savor mahimahi fish tacos.
Munch pulled pork sandwiches with sides of pineapple cole slaw from Beach Bums; BBQ & Grill; panko-crusted ahi roll with hurricane fries from Three’s Bar and Grill; samosas from Monsoon India; fresh artisan pizzas by Porto Mediterranean Grill & Pizzeria; and Hawaii Ranchers all-beef hot dogs with fixings at Pacific Whale Foundation’s booth.
Want something healthful? Check out the quinoa superfoods bowl by Life Foods. Or opt for teriyaki chicken bowl by Stella Blues Cafe. Other participants include Fat Daddy’s Smokehouse, Hula Dogs, Java Caf, Ola Catering and crowd-pleasing Maui Kazowie Kettle Corn.
Craving dessert? Save your sweet tooth for chocolate-and-haupia bread pudding by Donut Dynamite, island ices by Paradise Tropical Ice, handmade popsicles by Shaka Pops and cool and creamy ice cream by Cold Stone Creamery. There will also be cotton candy, smoothies, shave ice, soda and other drinks for sale.
AN ALL-GREEN EVENT
Since World Whale Day is a green event, all food will be served on biodegradable and compostable products.
In addition, water will be sold in reusable, commemorative “Save the Whales” water bottles. Provided by Menehune Water, the official water sponsor for World Whale Day, the bottles cost $3 and purchasers receive free filtered water refills throughout the day.
“You can also bring your own reusable bottle and obtain refills for $1,” says Anne Rillero communication manager.
FUN IN THE SUN
PWF’s marine education team has created fun games like Krillapult, Fluke Matching and Build An Edible Coral Reef. Bouncy castles will also be part of the fun for keiki at their own carnival.
Wanna shop til you drop? The made on Maui artisans’ fair will feature the work of more than 80 local craftspeople, including jewelers, basket makers, potters and more. You may bid on gift certificates for island activities, restaurants, shows, golf and more at the silent auction. The bidding begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m.
PWF’s tent will feature displays of whale artifacts, information about ongoing whale research and presentations about whales and ocean conservation issues throughout the day. Other environmental displays will be hosted by West Maui Mountains Watershed Project, Monk Seal Foundation, Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, Coalition for a Tobacco-free Hawaii, Surfrider Foundation, Maui Nui Marine Resource Council, NOAA Fisheries Maui Marine Mammal Response Program, Malama Maui Nui and Sustainable Living Institute Maui Community Garden at UH Maui College.
Win a free roundtrip airfare for two to the Mainland at the the Wild & Wonderful Whale Regatta. Based on popular rubber ducky races found across the U.S., it’s a wet and twisting water course featuring rubber humpback whales.
The easiest and most eco-friendly way to attend Whale Day is to take advantage of the Maui Bus. Ride the Kihei Islander bus and get off at Keala Place and South Kihei Road. There will also be free event parking lots and free shuttle service from Hope Chapel on Welakahao Road and Azeka Place Mauka by Bank of Hawaii. Shuttles run from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
World Whale Day is part of the Maui Whale Festival, a series of whale-themed events that coincide with the peak of whalewatch season on Maui.
To learn more about World Whale Day, visit www.mauiwhalefestival.org or call 249-8811, Ext 1.