Summer is in full swing, and the events are some of the hottest of the year. This month’s edition of your calendar of events features: a highly anticipated film festival, the return of Bon Dance season, an outdoors theater production under the stars, the world championship paddle-board race, and of course the best place to watch the 4th of July fireworks on Maui! This is the season of long days and warm night, so get out there and enjoy all this island has to offer.
2023 Maui Film Festival Stardust Cinema
Enjoy five engaging nights of cinematic diamonds at the Stardust Cinema at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s A&B Amphitheater, 16 Maui Premieres viewed on a magnificent, bright as sunlight wall of magic, color and light that will knock you over. More than enough space to enjoy a night of Maui Film Festival premieres and festivities with many, many of your long time and newly made friends and family, on blankets, in low back beach chairs, folding chairs and bleachers (as available).
In addition to Nightly Film Premieres, throw in the Nightly Festivities we’ve planned which will deliver an eclectic mix of live music, Kahiko style hula, festival tributes and/or Surprises for all five nights. Live it Up with mouthwatering Kau Kau, libations and onolicious food and beverages for sale! Saturday: Blueback and The Road to Patagonia. Sunday: Sweet Adventure, Savage Waters, Tiki Taane In Session With CSO. Food will be provided by Star Anise and Haven’s on Saturday, Sumo Dogs, Taste of Aloha 808 and The Magic Oven.
When: June 28-July 2, gates open at 5 p.m. and showtimes vary. Where: Maui Arts & Cultural Center, A&B Amphitheater. Tickets are $36 per person, per night, and available online here.
Jazz Maui Presents “Concert in the Park” Annual 4th of July Celebration
Jazz Maui presents “Concert in the Park,” the annual Fourth of July Celebration, in James Campbell Park, Lahaina, on Tuesday, July 4, 2023. The music begins at 5pm with performances by the Chop Suey Jazz Orchestra, Na Ali’i Big Band, and the Maui Community Band. Fireworks after dark are the grand finale of the event. Those attending should bring their own mats or low-back beach chairs for seating. Admission is free. The Chop Suey Jazz Orchestra, with more than 20 members, is a jazz band made up of local musicians, students, and music educators under the direction of Mr. Casey Nagata.
The Na Ali’i Big Band is one of Maui’s premier ensembles for big band-style jazz and swing. The Maui Community Band was founded by the late Lisa Owen in 2003 and today has more than 40 members from all walks of life ranging in ages from 8-78, Under the direction of Mr. Ted Manzano, the band is performing patriotic favorites for this special occasion.
When: July 4, music starts at 5 p.m. and the firework show starts at 8 p.m. Where: James Campbell Park, 684 Front St., Lahaina.
Obon Dance & Festival – Paia Mantokuji Mission Soto Zen Mission
Bon Dance, or Obon Festival, is a Japanese Buddhist custom mean to honor the spirits of one’s ancestors. While this is a Buddhist tradition, all are welcome to revel in the celebration. The custom has grown to wide spread popularity among the Hawaii population because of the deep cultural ties the Japanese plantation immigrants had when they migrated to Hawaii in the early 1900’s. Although the tradition sounds like a sad one, it is completely the opposite and is celebrated with bright colors, vibrant kimonos, booming taiko drums, and some ono grinds.
When: July 7th, 7 p.m. Where: Paia Mantokuji Mission, 253 Hana Hwy, Paia
Lahaina Restoration Foundation invites you to History Theatre, to hear the stories of Hawaii’s past directly from the people who lived it. The theme for this evening is “Rediscovering History: The Birth of Museums, Libraries and Archives in Hawaii.” This summer’s presentation will feature three performances occurring simultaneously, and guests with cycle through all the performances at their leisure.
Historical portrayals will include: Robert Crichton Wyllie, Minister of Foreign Affairs under King Kamehameha III, whose collection formed the basis of the Hawaiʻi State Archives; Edna Allyn, teacher and librarian whose work led to what is now the Hawaii Public Library system; George R. Carter, 2nd Territorial Governor and avid collector, whose collection helped form the basis of the Hawaiian Mission Houses Archives.
When: July 6th and 7th, doors open at 6 p.m. and show starts at 6:30 p.m. Where: Waiola Church Cemetary, 535 Waine’e St, Lahaina. Tickets are $10 for students, $35 for adults, and available online here.
The awesomely fun eight-mile downwind race runs from Maliko to Kanaha on the North shore of Maui and includes divisions for OC6, OC2, OC1, SUP!!, Prone paddling!!, Wing foil, Sup foil, Paddle foil, Kite, Windsurf and sailing. The event finishes with an Ohana festival where food, music, environmental awareness, and lucky draws are enjoyed.
Through registration fees, sponsorships, and donations, Paddle Imua ensures that over sixty children with special needs can attend Camp Imua, a week-long recreational camp where they will interact with over 150 volunteers, enjoy playing in the ocean, experience many other activities, and make memories for life. Imua is a Hawaiian word that means “to move forward.” Paddle Imua participants will have the opportunity to meet many of the children they are helping to “move forward” through interactive ocean relay races at the Ohana festival. Come join in the fun, make the trek to Maui and enjoy the ‘crankin’ summer windy days and pumping south swells while supporting and enjoying Paddle Imua.
Moloka’i 2 O’ahu Paddleboard World Championships
Perhaps the most difficult open ocean, paddle race in the world returns for its 24th edition this year after a three-year COVID-related hiatus. Better known by its official title, the Molokai2Oahu or M2O, it’s a whopping 32 miles long. The race stretches from Kaluakoi Beach Area, Molokai to the South Shore of Oahu at Maunalua Bay Beach Park by way of the Ka’iwi Channel, one of the roughest on the planet.
Initially founded in the ’90’s on Oahu, and primarily drawing lifeguards on the island, nowadays, the event sees all kinds of people compete. Athletes make the crossing in as little as under five hours, surfing open-ocean “bumps” on equipment made for riding downwind. The race is scheduled to run on July 30th and the specific event schedule has been released: this year’s event features prone paddle-boarding, stand-up paddling (SUP), and foil divisions. Wing foil has also been added to the offerings. Competitors are required to have a support boat, and many do it as a relay in teams, or solo of course.
When: July 30, solo and team paddleboard race starts at 7:30 a.m., awards party 6:30 p.m. (full schedule of events available here). Where: Kaluakoi Beach Area, Molokai to Maunalua Bay Beach Park on the South Shore of Oahu. Registration has completed but there is a wait-list available here.
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