The much ‘v’enerated ‘w’hale

FIRST PHOTO: Ted Leach drives a 1971 Volkswagen single cab bus that makes a whale of a float for Leach Builders LLC as part of Saturday’s World Whale Day Parade. Hidden in the tail of the float was a crew shooting spouts of water out of a blowhole.

The 34th annual free community event at Kihei’s Kalama Park was started in 1980 as “Honor the Humpback Whale Day.”

Under sometimes sweltering conditions, a jam-packed crowd turned out Saturday to celebrate Maui’s most famous winter visitors.

SECOND PHOTO: Legendary rock ‘n’ roller Mick Fleetwood riding in a carriage in the parade. Fleetwood later played on the Whale Day stage with the R.E. Metoyer Blues Rock and Soul Revue.

THIRD PHOTO: Mick Fleetwood sits beside Mayor Alan Arakawa as they ride down South Kihei Road in a carriage pulled by four matching horses.

FOURTH PHOTO: Shaka Divers and the “Double-Bubble Mermaids” bid greetings to the crowd along South Kihei Road.

FIFTH PHOTO: Mitchell Pinheiro, 3, pieces together an oversized whale’s tale puzzle in one of the educational tents.