Two major Maui events will have milestone anniversaries this month – it’s time for the 30th annual Celebration of the Arts and the 50th annual Maui Marathon!
Celebration of the Arts
On April 15 and 16, the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua will host Maui’s most impressive arts and cultural festival, a gathering of more than 60 artisans, cultural practitioners, entertainers, and speakers. The weekend’s rich traditions begin at 5:30 a.m. at Honokahua (D.T. Fleming) Beach, with a hi`uwai (water purification ceremony) and oli (chants) welcoming the rising of the sun. At 9 a.m. in the hotel lobby, attendees can witness the opening protocol, which includes chants honoring the Hawaiian Islands and their genealogy.
Art demonstrations and hands-on activities for adults and keiki begin at 10:30 a.m. on Friday and 10:00 a.m. on Saturday. Festival-goers can also participate in introductory hula and Hawaiian language classes and enjoy educational sessions on everything from the history behind Hawaiian names and spiritual practices, to long-distance canoe-voyaging, island plants and herbs, and ocean reef restoration.
After a Friday night fashion show highlighting local designers, the Celebration After Hours event features live music and dancing. The weekend culminates with the Celebration of Island Tastes on Saturday evening, when Maui residents and visitors can experience live music and
dance performances while sampling a variety of traditional and contemporary Hawaiian lu`au foods made by local families, non-profit organizations, and vendors.
Although last year should have marked this event’s 50th, the Maui Marathon went virtual in 2021 because of the pandemic – so the big anniversary will take place this year instead! On April 24, more than 3,000 runners and spectators from around the world are expected to take part in the oldest marathon west of the Rockies.
The day’s races include a full marathon, marathon relay, half marathon, 10k, and 5k. Supported by the Valley Isle Road Runners, the marathon is a USATF-certified race and a Boston Marathon qualifier. Awards ceremonies will be held for the different events throughout the morning, for age ranges from 14 and under through 85 and over.
Runner’s World magazine named the Maui Marathon one of the top 10 most scenic marathons in the U.S., and Competitor Magazine named it one of the top 25 must-do marathons. The full marathon begins at the sugar mill in Kahului and winds along the coastline through north Kihei, Maalaea, and Lahaina, before finishing at Kaanapali Beach Hotel.
Every year at this time, I can’t help thinking of my own marathon experiences! I was not a runner, but when my best friend decided to participate in a marathon to mark the milestone of her 40th birthday and my husband decided to join her, I went to cheer them both on. The excitement, the energy, and the incredible dedication of the runners brought me to tears – and made me realize I had to try it, too. Since then, running marathons has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
Here’s to a great race for everyone who gets out there and does it this year!
Leslie MacKenzie Smith, REALTOR(S), RS-42147