The estimated 28,000 Halloween revelers in Lahaina town Wednesday night did not cause major problems, said Maui police and county officials.
In fact, they said that Halloween festivities were a lot calmer and events better organized than in the past.
Lahaina Patrol Lt. Ricky Uedoi said Thursday morning that 13 people were arrested during the festivities; all but one were men. A total of 23 charges were filed against those arrested - three for disorderly conduct; 16 involving drugs (mostly for smoking and possessing marijuana) and four for drinking in a historic district.
Haiku’s Tim Pierpoint drives a motorized “Big Cat” costume through the crowd on Front Street on Wednesday evening.
The Maui News MATTHEW THAYER photo
No juveniles were arrested.
County spokesman Rod Antone said overall, this year's events were better organized than last year's. The county and LahainaTown Action Committee co-hosted the events.
"I thought it was well run, about as well run as you can have for an event that size," Antone said.
Lynn Donovan, executive director of the LahainaTown Action Committee, said: "It really was a wonderful event. Everybody was happy."
She heard from some merchants that they "really had a good night" and at least one restaurant said at about 1:30 a.m. Thursday that its profits were "above what they had ever done."
In 2008, organized Halloween activities on Front Street came to a halt when the Maui County Cultural Resources Commission unanimously denied a LahainaTown Action Committee request for a permit for a costume contest, live music and vendors along Front Street. Halloween attendance dropped off significantly following the decision.
In 2011, Maui County brought back organized Halloween activities and closed down the street by revamping the event to bypass approval by the Cultural Resources Commission.
Antone said there were some kinks last year. Rubbish along Front Street wasn't picked up in a timely manner, and people had gathered behind Lahaina Public Library to drink and smoke marijuana.
This year those issues were resolved. Organizers didn't have to pick up cigarette butts and other trash into the wee hours of the morning, and police Sgt. Mark Vickers set up lights behind the library, which kept away the miscreants, Antone said.
In addition to police and fire crews' presence, Maui County Ocean Safety Officers and state Department of Land and Natural Resources officials also were on hand.
Antone said Maui County Ocean Safety Officers administered oxygen to a woman who was having an asthma attack at Banyan Tree Park, and some DLNR officials were stationed behind Lahaina library.
Firefighters also made sure that no one violated fire codes and that establishments adhered to their capacity levels.
"We tapped into more resources," Antone said of the help from other agencies. "Everybody shared responsibility."
As organized festivities were back on Front Street in Lahaina, the crowds in Paia were calmer and perhaps smaller than in the days when Front Street festivities were curtailed, some merchants said Thursday morning.
Although she wasn't at Ono Gelato of Paia on Wednesday night, Manager Tehani Nagata said her employee working the shift reported that business was "kind of slow," though there were many trick-or-treaters going from business to business.
"Mostly everyone was in Lahaina," Nagata said.
At Milagros Food Co. across the street, Manager Kolette Gunnison said there were a lot of families in town. She thought the crowd seemed bigger than last year.
"It was a good vibe last night," she said Thursday.
Gunnison added that Milagros closed its doors on Halloween. She passed out candy at the business instead.
She said the restaurant has been closing Halloween night since it experienced a "crazy" night when Paia absorbed the crowds from the curtailed Front Street Halloween festivities.
"Paia was really crazy; it was out of control," she said of the crowd that hit Paia several years ago.
Antone said that Mayor Alan Arakawa's administration is willing to sit down with those who oppose Halloween events in Lahaina town. He said that now is the time to start the conversation and that it should be done sooner than later.
Kula resident Richard Dancil had filed motions with the state Intermediate Court of Appeals in the last two weeks asking for a stay of the Halloween festivities in Lahaina town until an appeal of his older case could be heard.
The court denied his motions. Dancil had said the events occur in an "endangered historic district of Lahaina" and threaten Native Hawaiian culture and identity.
* Melissa Tanji can be reached at email@example.com.