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Maui Whale Festival underway

By Staff | Feb 19, 2021

MAALAEA — Pacific Whale Foundation (PWF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans and marine wildlife, is holding the 41st annual Maui Whale Festival (MWF).

Celebrating the return of Maui’s majestic humpback whales from Alaskan waters, a slate of virtual events is underway. Guests can participate and engage throughout a variety of activities and events to help raise funds for PWF’s mission work, including Run & Walk for Whales, World Whale Film Festival, Maui Artisan Virtual Craft Fair and the Maui Whale Festival Webinar series.

As PWF’s signature fundraising and outreach event, Maui Whale Festival traditionally attracts thousands who flock to festival mainstays, including Run & Walk for Whales, the World Whale Film Festival and other special events. For the 41st annual event, organizers have adopted a primarily virtual approach keeping with PWF’s overarching commitment to health and safety.

This year, walkers and runners from around the globe can take part in the festival’s Run & Walk for Whales as the popular event goes virtual.

Through Feb. 28, whale lovers and exercise enthusiasts can join PWF staff and supporters as they walk, run or jog from the nonprofit’s world headquarters in Maalaea to its Ocean Store in Lahaina for a total of 14.9 miles by signing up at www.mauiwhalefestival.org/runwalk. Participants have 20 days to complete the challenge and will receive a medal upon completion. Runners who want to go that extra mile are encouraged to challenge their endurance by simply picking the number of miles they want to achieve and get moving.

There is a $50 fee to participate in the Run & Walk for Whales, with proceeds benefitting PWF’s mission.

The fifth annual World Whale Film Festival (WWFF), an important cornerstone of MWF, kicks off on Feb. 19. The ten-day virtual offering features thoughtfully curated visual stories about ocean conservation, environmental activism and champions of nature. Proceeds from the $20 fee to virtually attend the World Whale Film Festival will further PWF’s mission.

The Maui Artisan Virtual Craft Fair (Feb. 1 to March 31) showcases products and services of Maui Nui merchants, artists and crafters, restaurants and businesses. The platform encourages online consumers and collectors to shop local by driving them to the virtual store or e-commerce site of the businesses.

Attendees can discover fascinating facts about oceans and marine wildlife as industry leaders, researchers and scientists share findings and stories via the Maui Whale Festival Webinar series available throughout February. Webinars will be live-streamed free of charge, and guests are encouraged to ask questions and interact with presenters.

For more information about the 41st Annual Maui Whale Festival, visit www.mauiwhalefestival.org.