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25th Annual East Maui Taro Festival This Weekend

April 27, 2017, 9:50 AM HST · Updated April 27, 9:52 AM
Nikki Schenfeld · 0 Comments
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The 25th annual East Maui Taro Festival will take place this weekend in Hāna. The event takes place on Saturday, April 29, at the Hāna Ballpark, adjacent to the Travaasa Hāna Resort from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

2016 East Maui Taro Festival. Photo credit: Nicole Schenfeld.

The free festival celebrates taro, a staple of the Hawaiian diet, and features a farmers market, kalo pounding, food booths, arts and crafts, live music, and hula.

Saturday, April 20, 2013, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Hāna Ball Park:

  • Farmer’s market, poi pounding, food booths, arts and crafts, information tent, music and hula, emceed by Kanaido
  • Oli by Kumu Kaleikoa Kaʻeo; Blessing by ʻAhahui Kaʻahumanu Society
  • Entertainment: Hālau O Nakaulakuhikuhi, Kumu Hula Kau‘i Kanaka‘ole, CJ, Leokane & Boise, The legend of Ai‘ai – Halauaola Hula, Kumu Hula Pi‘ilani Lua, Pat Simmons Jr., Kamakoa Lindsey-Asing and Keoni Darisay & Expojah

The Queen’s Challenge Taro Competition will also take place on Saturday with a $500 prize at stake.

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The challenge is open to all taro farmers on Maui that grow Hawaiian taro varieties in two categories – wetland or dryland. There is no cost to enter and all entries must be Hawaiian taro varieties.

A two point advantage will go to taro grown organically in honor of Queen Emma’s proficiency in growing kalo and caring for the soil.

Maui Lehua and other hybrids will not qualify for this competition.

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Consult Bulletin 84 where you will find photos of many of the varieties listed in the Bulletin to help verify your varieties prior to entry. More details on the challenge can be found here.

A taro pancake breakfast at Hāna Bay and tours of local farms are offered the day after the festival, on Sunday, April 30, from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. and will give attendees a glimpse into Hāna’s rich agricultural scene.

Sunday, April 30, 2017:

  • Taro Pancake Breakfast at Hāna Bay, Sponsored by The Barefoot Cafe & Catering, 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
  • Kahanu Garden Tours, National Tropical Botanical Garden and Piʻilanihale Heiau, 11 a.m.
  • Mahele Farm at ʻUlaʻino: farm tour 1 p.m.
Nikki Schenfeld
Nikki joined the Maui Now team in 2016 as a writer/reporter. Originally from Chicago, she has had internships with CBS2 Chicago and Comcast SportsNet Chicago where she had the opportunity to interview some of Chicago's best athletes. She graduated from Columbia College Chicago in 2010 with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism. She moved to Maui in 2013.
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