The 11th Annual Lighting of the Banyan Tree
By Wendy Osher
The Lahaina Action Committee will host the 11th Annual Lighting of the Banyan Tree in downtown Lahaina the first weekend in December.
In keeping with tradition, the Lahaina historic Banyan Tree will be lit up with thousands of colored Christmas lights for the entire holiday season from Saturday, December 3 to January 1, 2012.
This year the Lahaina Town Action Committee will design a winter wonderland for keiki in Lahaina. Activities surrounding the Holiday Lighting event takes place on:
- Saturday, December 3, 2011: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., for Banyan Tree lighting, Santa, Frosty; and
- Sunday, December 4, 2011: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., activities include a craft fair and music.
Although the wonderland will not have snow, there will be an opportunity to see “Frosty,” a real Hawaiian snowman that will be onsite on Saturday.
Keiki activities kick off at 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 3, with the arrival of Santa. There will also be cookie decorating, face painting and Christmas crafts.
Music begins at 10 a.m. and will conclude with the Lahainaluna High School Band and the lighting of the tree by Santa’s Secret VIP at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 3. The Pioneer Inn and the Wharf Cinema Center will join in the celebration with the simultaneous lighting of their properties with holiday lights.
The event also features a meet-and-greet with Carlton Kinkade, the artist of the new “2012” Lahaina Poster. Carlton will be signing posters from 1 to 3 p.m.
The LahainaTown Action Committee requests one canned or non perishable food item for admission to the “North Pole” winter wonderland. Donated food items will be given to the Lahaina Light Bringers, a non-profit agency that was founded in 1991 to help and feed the homeless and needy of West Maui.
The Banyan Tree in Lahaina was planted in 1873 by the Sheriff to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first Missionary. The tree was brought from India, and was only eight-feet high at the time of planting. It now has a dozen main trunks, and spreads over the better part of an acre.