PHOTOS: Earth Day Maui 2012
By Susan Halas
The 2012 installment of Maui’s annual Earth Day Festival held at the Maui Nui Botanical Gardens outdoor amphitheater on April 22 drew a colorful crowd to an event that mixed non-stop music with environmental activism.
Mary Traynor, one of the festival’s volunteer staff, said that more than 35 non-profits and 40 vendors participated, lining the walkways with booths and stands of every description.
Though estimates of attendance were not immediately available, she said it was expected to equal or surpass the more than 1,000 Mauians who turned out last year.
Those celebrating Earth Day arrived in colorful finery including tie-dyed garments in every hue, fairy wings, stove pipe, feathered or bobble headgear. Some decked themselves in beads, bells and sequins, while others wore little more than a patch of leopard skin covering key anatomical regions. Many enjoyed the music seated or reclining, but quite a few were on their feet dancing in tight little clusters or big swirling loops. Ribbons twirled, hoops gyrated and the well coordinated assumed graceful one footed yoga postures.
For those concerned with Mother Earth there was every variety of advice and remedy available from wheat grass and fermented green tea to hands-on massage.
Environmental organizations large and small, (known and unknown) turned out to lobby for and against a variety of issues.
There were booths to oppose “chemtrails,” genetically modified crops and smart meters and others to encourage crystal healing, cleanses of all kinds and one stand devoted to the power of empathy.
While their parents listened or danced the afternoon away the kids played tag, rode ponies or covered themselves with paint.
Most who spoke with Maui Now proclaimed it a success. Or in the words of Makawao musician Michael Gaughan, “If anything it’s better than last year, more cohesive, more fun, better organized. There’s a new rhythm to an old pattern.”