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Fundraising halfway there for Lahaina Fourth of July

LahainaTown Action Committee has “special and exciting” ideas for the annual Fourth of July fireworks and is about halfway to its fundraising goal of $50,000 with about a month left to go.

“The Fourth of July is one of LahainaTown’s major fund-raisers, and the funds raised allow us to continue as an organization and help put in additional events and programs throughout the year,” said Snehal Patel, president of the nonprofit committee on Tuesday. “We want to try and enhance the economic vitality Lahaina Town is known for while giving equal attention to the historical and cultural aspects of the town, which offer residents and visitors a rich cultural history, which we want to help preserve.”

Donations and pledges will help to fund the fireworks show, but if the goal is exceeded, additional entertainment and activities may be added. Patel said he is confident they will reach $50,000 by next month but would like to incorporate new ideas that will “grow and enhance” the event if the budget allows.

This could include wireless sound throughout Lahaina Town, LED video wall displays, art installations and other surprises that he could not disclose.

The fireworks show off Front Street will begin at 8 p.m. and will be preceded by the Maui Community Band at 7 and Sher- yl Renee singing “The Star Spangled Banner” a capella.

The Chop Suey Jazz Orchestra will play from 5 to 5:50 p.m., followed by Kuikawa.

There also will be stilt walkers, balloon twisters, food and a game show with Brenton Keith at Campbell Park.

“It’s an awesome time. It’s a celebration of freedom anywhere,” Patel said. “It’s a cause to celebrate freedom, justice and equality for all type of mentality, all around the world. . . . That’s what I look for in Fourth of July.”

Often the only Fourth of July fireworks show on the island in its past 18 years, this year’s event is expected to draw 20,000 residents and visitors.

Traditionally, spectators gather at the Lahaina Public Library lawn and along Front Street, but the committee hopes to expand fireworks viewing spots to Lahaina Harbor and Shops At 505 areas to “help showcase the event throughout the whole town,” Patel said.

LahainaTown Action Committee organizes the largest events in Lahaina, including the Lighting of the Banyan Tree at Christmas, Second Friday events, the Whale and Ocean Arts Festival and one of the largest Halloween parties in Hawaii on Front Street. It is the community support that helps the committee organize and host celebrations like those, Patel said.

He wanted to thank the county, the county Office of Economic Development, Maui Police and Fire Departments, Lahaina Rotary and “everyone who has donated already.”

Businesses and individuals can make a direct donation online at bit.ly/4thLahaina or checks can be mailed to 648 Wharf St., No.101, Lahaina 96761. For more information, go to visitlahaina.com.

* Dakota Grossman can be reached at dgrossman@mauinews.com.