PHOTOS: Haiku’s 2012 19th Annual Flower Festival
By Madeline Ziecker
At 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 31 hundreds of Maui residents gathered at the 19th Annual Haiku Ho’olaule’a & Flower Festival to enjoy live music from favorite local bands, catered food booths, games, information booths, a bake sale, floral displays, pony rides, and an expansive farmers market on the Haiku Community Center’s lawn.
The event day was hot, windy and full of sunlight, which brought people from all over Maui to partake in the festivities and celebrate a nearly cloud-free day in Haiku.
The festival was organized and funded through the efforts of the Haiku Elementary School PTA, the Haiku Boys & Girls Club, and the Haiku Community Association.
It’s rare that Haiku hosts such big events, and this one was for a good cause – proceeds go to educational enrichment programs for the keiki at Haiku Elementary School.
An opening blessing kicked off the day at 9 a.m. which was followed by live performances from The Maui Izanai Yosakoi Dancers, Lehua’s Haiku Kids, Hula Alapa’i I Maluuluolele, Marty Dread, Kalama Ukulele, Lily Meola, Dr. Nat and Rio Ritmo, Freeradicals Projekt, Ono Grimes, and LIA LIVE with The Kryptones.
At 11:45 p.m., Mayor Alan Arakawa took the mike to say some words of appreciation for the successful community event. Hawaii Senator J. Kalani English joined Arakawa and deemed the Haiku Ho’olaule’a & Flower Festival as “one of the best events on this side of the island.”
English presented Haiku Elementary School’s administrative team and members of the Haiku community who were involved in organizing the festival with a framed letter of congratulations from the Hawaii State Senate.
Though the live music and beautiful floral arrangements kept the crowd’s attention, several food booths drew in hungry parents and keiki with locally-prepared hearty grilled chicken, veggie wraps, hot dogs, flatbread pizza, and hamburgers. Dessert was an event of its own with cotton candy, kettle corn, Hawaiian shaved ice, frozen banana’s, ice-cream, fresh coconuts, and an entire room devoted to baked goods.
Those who weren’t near the stage or waiting in line for ‘ono grinds’ browsed local merchandise like Maui-made candles, jewelry and handmade wizard wands in the merchant tents.
A game center was located towards the back of Haiku Elementary School which included several bouncing castles, a water slide, mini golf, and carnival-style games with prizes. A pony petting zoo and rides were also open all day.
The festival died down at around 4:30 p.m,. when slightly sunburned and very happy Haiku kids and their families went home for the day.
See Page 2 for more photos from the 19th Annual Haiku Ho’olaule’a & Flower Festival.