The East Maui Taro Festival has been awarded a $7,000 grant from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to hold the 27th Annual East Maui Taro Festival. The event will be held on Saturday, April 13, 2019, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hāna Ballpark.
The purpose of the festival is to feature taro or kalo in all its various forms. This includes food plates, live plants for farmers and gardeners, taro theme merchandise, informational material, and hands on activities.
East Maui Taro Farmers will be on hand to make fresh poi for tasting and for sale, as well as other taro products such as kuololo. Kalo pounding is popular with the younger generation and visitors alike. Festival goers will also have the opportunity to talk story with elders about their skills and crafts including fishnets, weaving and cloth making. The festival will also feature music and hula from local performers throughout the day. Admission to the festival is free.
The East Maui Taro Festival was founded to preserve and protect cultural practices with a focus on taro, as it is the symbol and staple of the Kanaka Maoli, the Hawaiian people. The goal of the festival is to educate the public about taro and other Hawaiian cultural practices by providing an annual venue where relevant activities can take place to support taro farmers and their issues, as well as to be a voice for kalo and Hawaiian culture and practices.
“The East Maui Taro Festival organizers and directors wish to express gratitude and thank the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for its generous support of the festival,” said Coordinator, Judy Kinser.