Festival celebrates Maui agriculture
WAILUKU – The second annual Maui County Agricultural Festival, Maui’s prime event to raise awareness about Maui ag, will take place on Saturday, April 4.
The entire industry, its allies and supporters come together on the luau grounds of Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapu to share what each group does for the collective good of agriculture in the county, and to showcase ag’s vital role in the economy, environment and lifestyle of Maui.
Hosted by the Maui County Farm Bureau (MCFB) in partnership with the county Office of Economic Development, generous sponsors and industry allies, the event is an opportunity to learn about agricultural issues and their impact on our day-to-day lives.
Event hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; admission is $3 for adults. Kupuna 65 and over and keiki under 18 will be admitted free.
Families won’t want to miss the Grand Easter Egg Hunt at 2 p.m., horseback rides, ponies and livestock exhibit.
Chefs Greg Gaspar of the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa and Paris Nabavi of Sangrita Grill and Cantina will lead culinary classes from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Keiki Tent, along with ipu, nose flute (pu) and lei-making demonstrations by Na Kani O Hula.
Top Maui chefs Travis Morrin, Marcus Whisenant, Michael Lofaro, Ryan Luckey, Francois Milliet, Jeff Scheer, Sheldon Simeon, Isaac Bancaco and Jake Belmonte will be joined by visiting celebrity chefs Richie Nakano, Oscar Torres and Saekyeong Kim for the exciting Live Chefs’ Challenge from noon to 1 p.m.
The annual Grand Taste is scheduled at a new time, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., featuring a dozen farmer and chef booths. Presented in partnership with Slow Food Maui, event tickets are $30 purchased online (plus fee) by April 2 or $40 at the event.
Grand Taste ticket holders may present their ticket at the main entrance to the festival, and the $3 admission fee will be waived.
Guests will enjoy a mouthful of local, fresh and flavorful bites made by 12 Maui chefs.
Other festival highlights include the Grown on Maui Farmers’ Market, tram rides, food booths, barnyard games, “Ask the Farm Doctor” (bring soil samples for analysis and learn about plant health), and entertainment by Na Hoku Hanohano Award winner and Grammy nominee Kamaka Kukona, Halau o Ka Hanu Lehua, Kaumakaiwa Kanakaole, Sean Na’auao, Sherron DeCoite and the Silver Spur Band, and taiko drummers.
For more information, and to purchase tickets online, visit www.mauicountyfarmbureau.org.