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Lahaina to celebrate Banyan Tree’s 138th birthday

By Staff | Apr 14, 2011

Lahaina’s Banyan Tree has 12 major trunks. Its symmetry is maintained by volunteers.

LAHAINA — Lahaina Town will pay tribute to one of its landmarks, the Banyan Tree, with a party next week Saturday and Sunday, April 23-24.

LahainaTown Action Committee invites everyone to come out and celebrate the 138th birthday of the massive tree with birthday cake, clowns, piñata games, nature artwork and hands-on art activities for children. Admission is free.

Lahaina’s famous tree was planted on April 24, 1873 by town Sheriff William Smith to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the area’s first Christian mission.

Brought from India, the tree was only eight feet high when it was planted. It now has a dozen main trunks and covers two-thirds-of-an-acre in Banyan Tree Park fronting the Old Lahaina Courthouse.

Named for the merchants that sell wares in the shade beneath the large trees, banyans grow by dropping roots from its branches which become additional trunks.

On Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., there will be arts and crafts and live music all day. The schedule includes magic with Brenton Keith from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; birthday cake at 1 p.m.; clowns and keiki games from 1 to 3 p.m.; live music with Keoki Ruiz & Friends, Gilbert Emata and David Choy from 1 to 3 p.m.; a silent auction from 1 to 3:30 p.m. (bid on parasailing, meals at local restaurants, Maui Jim sunglasses, boat rides and much more).

Food on Saturday will be provided by Cool Cat Cafe, Captain Jacks, Famous Dave’s and Local Boyz Shave Ice.

On Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the event will feature arts and crafts and live music all day.

For information, call Scott Forsythe, LahainaTown Action Committee general manager, at 667-9175.

Lahaina Town Action Committee’s mission is to promote, encourage and preserve the historic, cultural, social and commercial vitality of Lahaina, the town and destination.