The 33rd annual World Whale Day will make a splash in Kihei on Saturday, and more than 18,000 visitors and Maui residents are expected to attend.
The colorful Parade of Whales with floats and costumed sea characters kicks things off at 9 a.m. starting at Alanui Kealii Drive, proceeding north on South Kihei Road until the Kihei Public Library.
At Kalama Park, you'll find live entertainment by top Hawaii musicians such as Kalapana and Willie K, food booths, and other activities running all the way from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Adult and keiki dance at last year’s event.
Pacific Whale Foundation photo
The best part is, admission is free.
Just bring a beach chair or blanket to sit on and some money to buy dishes at the food booths hosted by popular Maui restaurants and food purveyors.
"Join us for breakfast, lunch, dinner -or all three," says Greg Kaufman, executive director and founder of Pacific Whale Foundation. "Just be sure to arrive hungry and to leave room for the shave ice and cotton candy."
"There will be something for everyone," adds PWF's Anne Rillero, communication manager. "Vegetarians (and those who enjoy fresh, healthy fare) will love the vegetable curry that will be served by Monsoon India; the kale salad, penne pasta salad and summer rolls prepared by Down to Earth; as well as the medley of roasted vegetables served on ciabatta bread at the booth hosted by Porto Mediterranean Grill and Pizzeria. In addition, Pacific Whale Foundation's in-house division, 'Ola Catering,' will feature Hawaiian Rancher all-natural, pasture-raised beef on our teriyaki beef plates. We'll also be serving Hawaii Rancher all-beef hot dogs and burgers."
Between bites, you'll want to peruse the artisan fair with jewelry and crafts; bid at auction for restaurant meals and hotel stays; enter the Wild and Wonderful Whale Regatta (like a rubber ducky race), to win a free roundtrip airfare for two between Maui and the Mainland; and head to the keiki carnival area for games and activities.
"Some of our best entertainment will take place at dinner time, so bring a blanket, pick up dinner at our food booths and enjoy the sunset as you listen to live music," Kaufman continues.
Stella Blues Cafe will serve teriyaki chicken; Shaka Pizza will bring its signature hot pizzas; and R.S. Sharky's Family Fun Center will feature fish tacos, pulled pork, nachos and brownies.
"Beside shave ice and cotton candy, we'll also have kettle corn by Maui Kazowie; tropical ice smoothies from Paradise Tropical Ice; ice cream by Cold Stone Creamery, handmade popsicles from Shaka Pops; and chocolate-dipped organic bananas, orange-dream floats, coconut bars and fruit bars by Cheri's Hand Dipped Ice Cream."