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Lahaina to celebrate Banyan Tree’s birthday, Earth Day

By Staff | Apr 19, 2012

Lahaina’s famous Banyan Tree has grown by dropping roots from its branches that later become additional trunks. The tree now has 12 major trunks. The symmetry of the tree is maintained by volunteers under the guidance of a certified arborist.

LAHAINA – LahainaTown Action Committee will host the Banyan Tree’s 139th Birthday Party and Earth Day Celebration from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, April 21-22, in Banyan Tree Park.

The festivities will include birthday cake, a farmers’ market, live music, magic, artists and hands-on art activities for children. Admission is free.

On Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., keiki can enjoy games (including piatas) and arts and crafts. Magician Brenton Keith will interact with the crowd from noon to 1 p.m., then perform on stage at 1 p.m.

The farmers’ market by Bamboo Fresh from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday will feature baked goods, fruits, flowers and vegetables. Bring an old-style light bulb to exchange it for a free CFL bulb.

At 2 p.m., enjoy free Banyan Tree birthday cake.

A wide array of live music, including Hawaiian entertainment, will be performed all day Saturday and Sunday. From 4 to 4:30 p.m., the 50-strong Kalama Ukulele Kids will play under the direction of Ben Uyetake on Saturday.

Maui artists will sell their own jewelry, pottery, artwork, wood carvings and glasswork from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

Probably the most famous landmark in Lahaina, the Banyan Tree was planted by Sheriff William Owen Smith on April 24, 1873, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the first missionaries.

Brought from India, the tree was only eight feet high at the time it was planted. It now has a dozen main trunks and spreads over two-thirds-of-an-acre.

LAC Executive Director Lynn Donovan noted, “What better event to pay homage to Earth Day – a day that is intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment.

“Adding to the Earth Day celebration, the LahainaTown Action Committee is thrilled to offer a light bulb exchange program for our locals. The LahainaTown Action Committee is partnering with Hawaii Energy Blue Planet program. Bring in your old school light bulbs, and the LahainaTown Action Committee will exchange your old bulbs with a new CFL bulb. This is a free service to our community while supplies last.”

One-thousand bulbs are available for exchange.

Board Member Jill Holley said LAC wants to raise awareness about the need to make dramatic progress toward a “clean energy future” for the islands.

For information, call Donovan at 667-9175.