World Whale Day celebration at Kalama Park on Saturday
Maui visitors and residents will celebrate whales at the 34th annual World Whale Day Celebration on Saturday at Kalama Park in Kihei.
World Whale Day is hosted by the nonprofit Pacific Whale Foundation. More than 20,000 people attended last year. World Whale Day starts at 9 a.m. and continues until 7 p.m. Admission is free.
Mick Fleetwood, a founder and drummer for Fleetwood Mac, will take the stage as a guest performer with the R.E. Metoyer Blues, Rock and Soul Revue. He will also be the grand marshal in the Parade of Whales, which kicks off the festivities at 9 a.m. along South Kihei Road.
The parade begins at Alanui Kealii Drive, proceeds north along South Kihei Road and ends at Kihei Public Library on Waimahaihai Street. Maui’s Parade of Whales will feature costumed sea characters, floats created by local organizations, the Seabury Hall marching band and the Haiku Hillbilllys. Parade VIPs will include Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa, state Sen. Roz Baker and Maui County Council Members Gladys Baisa, Don Couch, Don Guzman and Mike Victorino.
Immediately after the parade, World Whale Day will offer a full day of free entertainment, plus hula, food by local restaurants, a carnival for children, displays about whales and Maui’s environment, and a “Made on Maui” artisans fair.
In addition to Fleetwood and the R.E Metoyer Blues, Rock and Soul Revue, performers will include Na Hoku Hano Hano award winner John Cruz, four-time Grammy award winner George Kahumoku Jr., Anuhea, Ekolu, Marty Dread, Na Hoa and the Tahitian hula group Manute’a Nui E.
Fleetwood will be available to sign autographs at the Fleetwood’s on Front Street booth at noon.
The easiest and most eco-friendly way to attend Whale Day is to take advantage of the Maui Bus. Take the Kihei Islander Bus and get off at Keala Place and South Kihei Road. To view bus schedules, visit www.co.maui.hi.us/index.aspx?NID=1310.
There are also free event parking lots and free shuttle service from two Kihei locations: Hope Chapel at 300 E.Welakahao Road and at Azeka Place Mauka by Bank of Hawaii. The free shuttles will run from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Handicapped parking is available at Kalama Park.
There will also be a third shuttle bus stop at the gravel parking lot next to the ABC Store at the corner of Alanui Ke Alii Drive and South Kihei Road across from Kamaole Beach Park I.
World Whale Day is part of the Maui Whale Festival, a celebration of Maui’s humpback whales that runs from February through March. To learn more, visit www.mauiwhalefestival.org.
Volunteers are needed to help at World Whale Day. For information on assisting at the event, visit www.mauiwhalefestival.org.