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Festival to celebrate Maui’s beloved humpback whales

By Staff | Mar 1, 2012

LAHAINA – West Maui will celebrate the annual migration of Pacific humpback whales at the Lahaina Whale and Ocean Arts Festival.

Coordinated by LahainaTown Action Committee, the free event will be held next week Saturday and Sunday, March 12-13, in Banyan Tree Park.

From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, artists will display their best marine-themed art for sale. The event will also feature live music, hula and entertainment and food booths.

Keiki will enjoy a children’s ocean art contest, crafts, whale photo displays and a creature feature touch pool exhibit by Maui Ocean Center (Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. only).

Children ages 3-13 are encouraged to draw or paint their favorite ocean scene for the art contest. Prizes include a snorkel trip for two to Lanai, a whale watch trip for two, Hawaii Ocean Project T-shirts and Maui Ocean Center day passes.

The contest’s age groups are 3-5, 6-7, 8-9 and 10-13. Entry forms and contest guidelines are available at the Lahaina Visitors’ Center on the first floor of the Old Lahaina Courthouse from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. All entries must be received by March 8 by 11 a.m.

The entries will be displayed during the festival on Saturday, and winners will be announced at 2:30 p.m.

Festival events and displays by Whale Studies, Whale Trust, Maui Ocean Center, Pacific Whale Foundation and the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary will offer visitors and residents opportunities to learn more about whales. Call 667-9175.