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Fun, (Mostly) Free, Family-Friendly Events

Vanessa Wolf is a Maui-based writer who believes in fairies.

By Vanessa Wolf

The next two weeks bring a smattering of fun, mostly free, kid-friendly events you can enjoy with the whole family.

Hula O Na Keiki

Hula O Na Keiki, a children’s solo hula competition, runs from November 9-11 at the Kaanapali Beach Hotel. Though the event has grown from a single day affair to an entire weekend of Hawaiian arts and music. Still the objective  – to educate children in the ways of the ancestors in order to perpetuate the culture – remains the same.

Children aged five to 17-years-old compete for coveted titles and awards totaling almost $17,000. Each contestant is interviewed in front of a panel of judges before the competition in their proficiency in Hawaiian language and their appropriateness of costume. They are also required to memorize a chant in the native Hawaiian language. Later that evening they will perform one of their the kahiko (traditional) or auana (modern) style hula. There is also a palua (couples) category.

Doors open at 3 p.m. on Friday. Events start at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $6 for children under 12, $15 for general admission, and $25 for premier seating and can be picked up at the Ohana Fun Center in the Kaanapali Beach Hotel or Native Intelligence in Wailuku.

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

Drew Barrymore is older than we realized.

On Sunday, November 11 at 6:30 p.m., Maui Arts & Cultural Center will present the 30th anniversary edition of one of America’s most beloved movies of all time:  E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.  Shown on the giant screen in Yokouchi Pavilion, MACC offers free admission and encourages families to bring low beach chairs, towels or blankets to relax on the A&B Amphitheater lawn.

The timeless story follows the unforgettable journey of a lost alien and the 10-year-old boy he befriends. Join Elliot (Henry Thomas), Gertie (Drew Barrymore) and Michael (Robert MacNaughton) as they come together to help E.T. find his way back home. When it was released by Universal Pictures, E.T. became a  blockbuster, surpassing Star Wars to become the highest-grossing film — a record it held for 10 years. Now digitally remastered with enhanced picture and sound for its 30th anniversary, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is one of those favorite films that remains in the hearts and minds of audiences everywhere.

Gates open at 5 p.m., and attendees will enjoy pre-show dining (a selection of dishes and beverages are available for purchase), fun art activities for keiki, a photo opportunity with a giant alien, music by Randall Rospond and a chance to win the 30th anniversary DVD.

Makahiki at the Fairmont Kea Lani

Lono, the god of music and fertility. Photo courtesy Daily Diety.

The Makahiki season was the ancient Hawaiian New Year festival, in honor of the god Lono.

The Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea is offering its first-ever Makahiki celebration next week.

The Makahiki season of Ancient Hawai’i took place each fall for four months. During this time, both war and work were suspended, Lono (the Hawaiian fertility God) was worshiped and offerings were made to ali’i (chiefs). Days were spent enjoying feasts, dancing hula and playing games.

The public is invited to celebrate the Makahiki season at The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui.

On Friday, November 16, Makahiki will be officially opened with a performance by the talented students of UH Maui College’s Institute of Hawaiian Music (IHM) at 6 p.m. in the hotel lobby. IHM, which is dedicated to the perpetuation and preservation of Hawaiian music, offers students the unique opportunity to form a musical mentorship with professional Hawaiian musicians, one of which includes four-time Grammy award winner, George Kahumoku, Jr.

On Monday, November 19, the games begin on Polo Lawn, right off of Polo Beach. Activities, which start at 11 a.m., will include hula lessons, bracelet weaving, poi pounding, and of course, traditional Makahiki games. Both events are free and open to all.

Are you a local artist – sculptor, poet, mime, slack key guitar player, tattoo artist, photographer, pastry chef, performance artist, sand castle builder or comedian – with an interesting story to tell? Know of a great band, artist, author, filmmaker, or event coming to town? Have an idea for a fun or thought-provoking story? Get in touch: we want to hear from you. Vanessa(@mauinow.com)

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