It’s autumn on Maui, which means that temperatures are cooling down, the humpback whales will make their appearance again soon, and we get a chance to enjoy special seasonal activities like visits to our upcountry pumpkin patch. On top of everything else, two major events will return to the Valley Isle this year.
Halloween in Lahaina
This October 31 from 4 to 7 p.m., the Lahaina Town Halloween celebration will make its post-pandemic reappearance! This 43rd annual event will include a parade down Front Street, beginning at the Outlets of Maui and ending at the world-famous banyan tree. Keiki can join the procession and then walk across the stage to show off their costume and receive a bag of treats.
Maui Mayor Michael Victorino will serve as marshal, leading the parade with the Lahainaluna High School marching band and Maui Shriners Clubs. Front Street will reopen to vehicle traffic after the parade, but many of Lahaina’s bars and restaurants will have food and drink specials all evening, live music (and at Down the Hatch, “scaraoke”), and costume contests for adults.
Lahaina’s Halloween festivities have been nicknamed the “Mardi Gras of the Pacific,” attracting crowds of up to 20,000 revelers. In past years, the celebration has included ghost stories and games for the kids, face painting, food, live music, and a costume contest with prizes. According to the Lahaina Town Action Committee, the long-term vision is to increase the scale of the event again in 2023.
Maui Jim Maui Invitational
This November 21 through 23, the 39th annual Maui Jim Maui Invitational will come home to the Lahaina Civic Center! This storied early-season college basketball tournament was played in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2021 and Asheville, North Carolina in 2020.
The Maui Invitational actually began on the Big Island in 1984, moved to War Memorial Gym on Maui in 1985, and then found its permanent home at the Civic Center in 1987. Although past tournaments have included as few as four teams and as many as 12, the current format has eight teams (Arizona, Arkansas, Cincinnati, Creighton, Louisville, Ohio State, San Diego State, and Texas Tech) playing a total of 12 games over three days.
The excitement is palpable here at tournament time! With a seating capacity of just 2,400, the Lahaina Civic Center offers basketball fans a uniquely intimate venue for experiencing great competition. And along with bragging rights and the Wayne Duke Championship trophy, the winning team receives a uniquely Hawaiian gift to honor their accomplishment: a 3-foot-tall surfboard made of native koa wood.
Leslie Mackenzie Smith, REALTOR(S), RS-42147