World Whale Day is sure to make a big splash on Saturday all the way from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Kalama Park in Kihei.
Presented by Pacific Whale Foundation and a host of other sponsors, this free event is one of Maui's biggest and best-attended festivals. With newly expanded hours and a second entertainment stage, World Whale Day is expected to attract more than 17,000 people this year.
"We've expanded the hours to accommodate those who are working during the day, or who want to enjoy fun, food and live music after sunset," says Toula Vivilakis, event coordinator.
A humpback whale slaps its tail in Maui waters as part of acrobatic behavior that also includes breaching and fluke slapping. Thousands of humpback whales migrate to Hawaii each winter to mate and calve their young.
PACIFIC WHALE FOUNDATION photo
Kicking off the festivities is the Parade of Whales at 9 a.m. This colorful parade begins at Alanui Keali'i Drive, then proceeds north along South Kihei Road and ends at the Kihei Library on Waimahaihai Street. The theme is "World of Whales."
"Don't miss the costumed sea characters and floats of all shapes and sizes created by local organizations," says Vivilakis.
"World Whale Day will offer crowd-pleasing fare at an array of food booths hosted by popular Maui restaurants and food purveyors," she continues. "Join us for breakfast, lunch, dinner - or all three. Just be sure to arrive hungry and to leave room for the shave ice and the cotton candy."
World Whale Day at a glance:
* Highlights: More than 15 food booths, music by dozens of top musicians on two stages, Keiki Carnival area, more than 100 artist and nonprofit educational booths and silent auction. It's a "green" event, so all food will be served on biodegradable and compostable plates.
* Where: Kalama Park oceanfront in Kihei.
* When: From 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday. Colorful parade kicks off at 9 a.m.
* How much: Free and open to the public.
* Parking: Free shuttle service from Hope Chapel and Azeka Mauka shopping center.
* For more details: Visit www.mauiwhalefestival.org. To sign up for three-hour volunteer shifts, call 249-8811, ext. 2. Volunteers get a free T-shirt.
There will be more than 15 food booths in all.
Stella Blues Cafe will serve chili and rice and teriyaki chicken burgers. Monsoon India will tempt you with exotic veggie samosas, chicken curry and rice, two types of naan (flat bread) and alod mutter, which is potato and peas in curry sauce. Shaka Pizza and Sandwiches will dish up slices of pepperoni and cheese pies.
Beach Bums BBQ and Grill will smoke pork and brisket to put in sandwiches and serve them with fresh pineapple slaw.
Pacific Whale Foundation's new Porto restaurant will toss Maui mista salads as well as Caesars with chicken. Its Ola Catering company that provides food for its many whale watch cruises will make teriyaki chicken and beef plates, combo plates, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, garden burgers and hot dogs.
Other food booths will include Dog and Duck Irish Pub, Down to Earth Natural Foods, Maui Kazowie Kettle Corn, Sharky's Family Fun Center, Cold Stone Creamery, Hawaiian Moons Natural Foods, L&L Hawaiian BBQ, My Office (food truck) and No Ka Oi Nut Company.
There will also be cotton candy, smoothies, shave ice, soda and other drinks for sale.
Award-winning Hawaii performers Anuhea, Hapa, John Cruz, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real will be just some of the live entertainment to appear on stage along with, Marty Dread, Nuff Sedd, Willie K and Manute'a Nui E.
A second stage that will feature music and performances are for both keiki and adults. Enjoy Uncle Wayne and the Howling Dog Band, Evakali Ribbon Dancing, Peter and Melinda Wing drama for youth, Lily Meola (youth vocalist), Keisha the Hoopnatizer, Chestemere High School Jazz Band (from Canada), Zumba with Roya and more.
"This is an opportunity to see and hear some of Hawaii's most beloved and noted musicians all in one place - for free," says Greg Kaufman, president and founder of PWF.
There will be more than 100 local artists selling their wares and kids will love the Keiki Carnival area. You may also bid on silent auction items such as golf games and restaurant meals.