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West Maui’s plantation roots, our legacy

By Staff | Oct 8, 2015

West Maui resident Bob Kawaguchi shares stories about West Maui’s rich Plantation Era (1860-1999), Lahaina’s most recent past.

LAHAINA – When the Lahaina Plantation Days opens to the public on October 16 & 17, our community will gather one last time for an event that celebrates West Maui’s plantation roots. It will be an event to remember.

For the past seven years, the Lahaina Restoration Foundation (LRF), led by Executive Director Theo Morrison, has coordinated this major community event. It has been a true labor of love, driven by its genuine desire to ensure that our island’s plantation legacy will be remembered and celebrated by future generations.

Each year during Lahaina Plantation Days, former plantation workers, businesses, sponsors, volunteers and event attendees have gathered at the old Pioneer Mill Smokestack on Lahainaluna Road for an evening of ono food, entertainment, exhibits, demonstrations and camaraderie. This year will be no exception, and the excitement is palatable as LRF and its dedicated crew of volunteers race to the finish, putting its final touches to ensure a memorable experience for people of all ages.

Among the highlights of this not-to-be-missed event are performances by Na Hoku Hanohano Award winners: Ikaika Blackburn and Leohone, Ekolu trio, Willie K, Amy Hanai`ali`i, Napua Greig and Melveen Leed, along with the Zenshin Daiko Drummers.

The public will enjoy a myriad of cuisines by over 15 of Maui’s favorite restaurants and food purveyors. There will also be a beer and wine garden, MauiGrown Coffee tent, plantation art gallery featuring works by well-known local artists, keiki game zone, and farmers’ market.

Kaanapali Land Management Corp. is honored to have been a major sponsor of this event since its inception and commends LRF for its hard work and dedication in staging this event for our residents and visitors.

They say it takes a village, and LRF has proven through the years that indeed it does. By working together and passing on cherished memories of West Maui’s past, we can help to ensure that our island’s plantation legacy will always be remembered.

The Lahaina Plantation Days will be open from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on both October 16 and 17. Event admission is $5; children five and younger are free. Lots of free parking will be available. For more information, contact the Lahaina Restoration Foundation office at (808) 661-3262, e-mail info@lahainarestoration.org or visit www.lahainarestoration.org.