By Vanessa Wolf
Buckle up, kiddos, because there are lots of interesting opportunities and events coming your way in the next 72 hours, many of them free.
Best Free Event Friday
The Fifth Annual Maui Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival will be taking place today through Sunday, April 19-21 at the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel.
The festival will feature steel guitar masters Alan Akaka, Greg Sardinha, Bobby Ingano, Geri Valdriz, Ed Punua, and Ross Ka‘a‘a.
Throughout the weekend, free performances, presentations, workshops, and jam sessions will be happening.
Alan Akaka and The Islanders kick things off on the main stage at 5:30 p.m. tonight, followed by Greg Sardinha and friends.
Best Free Event if You Like Long Drives
The 21st Annual East Maui Taro Festival takes place this weekend, April 20 and 21, in Hāna at the Ball Park.
The event is free and features a farmers market, poi pounding, arts and crafts, music and hula.
There’s also a kalo (taro) pancake breakfast and tours of the Mahele Farm at ʻUlaʻino, and a Loʻi Excursion at the Kapahu Living Farm in Kīpahulu.
Best Big Show
Over the course of the past few years, SOJA has sold more than 150,000 albums, headlined large theaters in more than 15 countries around the world, generated over 20 million YouTube views, and amassed more than a half-million Facebook fans.
Clearly waaaaaaay out of touch with the reggae scene, all this is news on this end, but it turns out their music is “an intoxicating mix of hot-rod reggae grooves and urgent, zeitgeist-capturing themes.”
They take the stage at the MACC amphitheater tonight. The show kicks off at 6 p.m. when Atmosphere opens.
Tickets are $44.50 for general admission and $85 for VIP.
Best Free Event Saturday
Saturday morning at 9 a.m. marks the start of the 20th Annual Haiku Ho‘olaule‘a & Flower Festival at the Haiku Community Festival.
The festival highlights local agriculture, arts, crafts and restaurants.
It is a collaborative effort of the Haiku School PTA, the Haiku Boys & Girls Club and the Haiku Community Association. The monies raised by the event are used primarily to support Haiku Elementary School educational programs such as art enrichment, science enrichment, creative movement, music, and drama.
The festival is free to the public and runs until 4:30 p.m.
Best Local ‘Project Runway’ Moment
“Diversite” is a University of Hawaii Maui College Fashion Technology Student Show.
The event will be showcasing the work of15 students
Doors open at 5 p.m.
Pupus will be served at 5:30 p.m.
The show itself will start at 7 p.m.
Tickets must be purchased between 1:30 and 4 p.m. today at the Fashion Tech Classroom in the Ho’okipa Building.
The show itself will take place at the University of Hawaii Maui Campus in the Pa’ina Building.
Best Local Theater Offering
In another play on words, “Fresher Ahi” is the sequel to last year’s hit play “Lesser Ahi,” a local comedy.
Maui playwrights and actors Derek Nakagawa and Francis Tau‘a reprise their multiple roles (both male and female) and introduce a host of new, colorful characters.
‘Fresher Ahi’ finds Kathy Collins joining the cast, and the show promises a “warm funny look at local life.”
It’s playing this Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Steppingstone Playhouse in the Queen Ka’ahumanu Center.
Tickets are $16 for adults, $14 for seniors, and $12 for students aged 18 and younger.
Best Free Event Sunday
On Sunday night at 7 p.m., the MACC’s Starry Night Cinema presents Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax.
This computer animated adventure story is an adaptation of the classic tale of a grumpy yet charming forest creature (voiced by Danny DeVito) who possesses the enduring power of hope. Doors open at 5 p.m. and you can enjoy casual dining, art activities, and live music by Dave Elberg until the film begins at 7 p.m.
Aware of something cool or amazing or incredible or jaw-dropping or WTF that’s happening or going to be happening on Maui? Why are you still sitting there reading these words!? LET US KNOW ABOUT IT: [email protected]