Whaler’s Village Shops and Restaurants at Ka’anapali Beach is sponsoring the 24th Annual Maui Onion Festival day – May 4th. This signature event has been held annually since 1990. It is dedicated to the cultivation and promotion of the world-famous Maui Onion. The Kula onion is one of the sweetest onions in the world. Authentic Kula onions are trademarked and grown exclusively on farmlands in the Kula district of the Valley Isle.
The free all day event will feature demonstrations from celebrity chefs,free food samplings, food booths and vendors featuring the Maui Onion. The festival will be held from 9:45 a.m. to 9 p.m. and includes live music, Maui Onion eating contest and a Maui Onion recipe contest. Maui’s own Chef Sheldon Simeon of Star Noodle and recent Top Chef season 10 finalist will be participating. Other celebrity chefs include Kevin Hanney from Salt, Chris Kulis of Capische, James McDonald of Pacific’O and I’O Restaurants, and Nick Mastrascusa of Ulu Ocean Grill and Sushi Lounge at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. The contest is scheduled at 4:30 p.m. Center Stage.
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We see people wearing lei for graduations, birthdays, hotel arrivals and weddings. I remember wearing a purple lei when graduating from high school. In early 1928 writer and poet Don Blanding wrote an article for the Honolulu Star Bulletin suggesting that a holiday be created centered around the Hawaiian custom of making and wearing lei. However it was fellow writer Grace Tower Warren who came up with the idea of a holiday on May 1 in conjunction with May Day. She is responsible for coining the phrase, “May Day is Lei Day.”
The first Lei Day was on May 1, 1928 and everyone in Honolulu were encouraged to wear lei. Festivities were held downtown with hula music, lei making demonstrations and exhibits and lei making contests.
In 1929, Lei Day was made an official holiday in the territory, a tradition which was interrupted only during the years of World War II, and which continues today. The Hawaiian song, “May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii” was composed in 1927 by Ruth and Leonard “Red” Hawk.
At the 81st Annual Mayor’s Lei Day Celebration at Kapiolani Park in 2008, Honolulu set the record for the World’s Longest Lei. Unofficially, the lei measured 5,336 feet in length, more than a mile. “We exceeded our goal,” said Mayor Mufi Hannemann. “We were hoping to reach one mile. All of the major islands celebrate Lei Day, and each island is symbolized in pageantry by a specific type of lei and a color.
Hawaii’s color is red, here on Maui, the color is pink.
Over the weekend you may have seen groups of people standing on the beaches of Maui staring out into the great blue. Now, this isn’t unusual, there are always lots of beautiful things to look at in the waters of Maui. You can see turtle’s bobbing heads in the waves, the sun setting over the horizon, spinner dolphins playing tag and every possible combo of human and board you can image(boogie, surf, windsurf and SUP to name a few). This past weekend volunteers had their eyes peeled looking for one thing in particular, Whales!
This weekend was the Pacific Whale Foundation’s Great Whale count. The Great Whale count is a citizens count of the Humpback whales that can be seen from the shores of Maui. Anyone can participate and the Pacific Whale Foundation offers free training materials. When you sign up you can pick a site that is convenient for you and will be led by a PWF staff member or site leader. In 2012, volunteers and researchers counted 1054 whales which was lower than the numbers recorded the two years prior. According to researchers it is normal to see some fluctuation from year to year and the general trend has been to see an increase year over year. This held true this year, with volunteers counting 1126 whales! Volunteers gathered in 12 different locations along the Maui coastline and experienced a variety of different conditions depending on the location. Some experienced high winds making it more challenging to see the whales through the high waves while others reported an easy stress-fee experience. Everyone agreed, regardless of the location, the event was a huge success.
Based on the data collected the Pacific Whale Foundation’s founder and Executive Director Greg Kaufman is predicting the peak of whale watching season is yet to come this year on Maui. Therefore, we should expect to see an increase of whale activity near to shore in the weeks to come! So keep your eyes turned to the sea because the best is yet to come.
Come see the whales for yourself. Reserve your time for next years whale season at:
Pacific Whale Foundation is a nonprofit organization based on Maui dedicated to protecting whales and our oceans through science and advocacy. To learn more about Pacific Whale Foundation, please visit http://www.pacificwhale.org.
May today bring you beauty
May today bring you love
May today bring you peace
May today bring you serenity
When we bought our condos at Aina Nalu we were excited to take advantage of the bike hut on property. We bought ourselves a couple of bikes and started riding all over Lahaina Maui. Biking around Maui is not for the beginner biker as there are few bike trails and most of the time you have to ride on the road shoulders. The WestMauiCycle site has a great map that shows all the bicycle routes on the island
As you can see most of the routes are on major roads so car traffic can be heavy at times. It is best to ride early in the day for a couple reasons. One, it can get quite hot on a bike in the afternoon sun. Two, Maui is famous for its trade winds. They are no fun on a bike unless of course the wind is at your back, but at some point you have to turn back around :) Also, the roads around Lahaina are mainly flat but can be a little bumpy.
One fun bike ride close to Lahaina is the Olowalu Petroglyph trail. As you leave Lahaina, take a right on the Honoapi’ilani highway. You will ride under a canopy of beautiful old trees that intertwine over the road. Before you get to the Olowalu general store, you will want to take a left on the road that goes behind the store. After about a 100 feet, turn left at the big tree. Follow the trail until you see a sign for the Olowalu Petroglyphs.
Once you arrive you will find more than 70 petroglyphs that are over 300 years old. Be careful not to lean on the handrail. Like most metal objects in Maui, it is pretty rusty from the salt air.
Although you can bring a bike with you on most major airlines for a price, it is better to rent them. West Maui Cycles offers bike rentals in Lahaina and has bikes ranging from cruisers for $15 a day to carbon fiber road bikes for $60 a day.
Brought to you by Maui Paradise rentals. Rent your own piece of paradise in the heart of Lahaina Maui:
Sheldon Simeon is the first Hawaiian Chef to make it on to the award-winning show Top Chef. We have always been a fan of the show, but watching one of our own knock off the competition makes it even more exciting. Sheldon is the executive Chef at Star Noodle and Leoda’s Kitchen & Pie Shop. Two of our favorite restaurants on Maui!
In this weeks episode, Sheldon will be given the opportunity to start his own restaurant in “Restaurant Wars”. “Restaurant Wars” is one of the most popular episodes of each top chef season. Two contestants are picked to launch their own restaurants from concept to execution in under 48 hours. Sheldon was picked for the honor after his Filipino sour tamarind soup received rave reviews last week. He has tough completion, he will be pitted against Kristen Kish who has been on a roll lately.
Having tasted almost every dish on the Star noodle menu, I believe that Sheldon has the chops to not only win “Restaurant wars” but also Top Chef. On your next visit to Maui, stop by and try some of Sheldon’s dishes for yourselves. We recommend the Singapore noodles and the pork buns but everything is delicious!
Tune in to Bravo right now to watch tonight’s episode for yourself.
Beautiful vacation rentals in Lahaina Maui:
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Tagged Bravo, Food, Foodie, Lahaina, Leodas kitchen, Maui, Restaurant, Seattle, Star Noodle, Top Chef, Travel
Lahaina Art Night
The town of Lahaina on Maui, has gained a reputation as a art mecca with dozens of art galleries lining famous Front street. In fact, Lahaina has more art galleries per capital than any other town in America, earning the title of “The Art Capital of the Pacific” In these galleries, hundreds of artists showcase their diverse works of art including ceramics, paintings, scrimshaw, photography and much, much more.
The galleries are open throughout the week but the best time to visit is Friday nights when Lahaina puts on its Art walk. Between 7pm-10pm every Friday, the galleries open their doors and encourage the public to come mingle with the artists, drink some wine, eat a little food and listen to music.
Pick up your free map at the Lahaina Visitor center and then head over to the old Lahaina Jailhouse. This historic building houses the longest running art gallery on Maui.
Best of all, all of this is just steps away from our two beautiful Lahaina Maui vacation rentals. http://www.mauiparadiserentals.com/index.html